Do you know the importance of utilizing strong passwords for cyber security?
Cyber security is the state of being protected against criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data. One way to protect yourself and your personal information from cyber-attacks is by creating a strong password.
Whether logging into your computer, email, bank, or social media accounts, passwords are still the primary security control used to protect your personal information. Unfortunately, passwords are viewed as an inconvenience to most, therefore they are made easy to remember. If a password is easy to remember, it also means it is easy for someone else to figure out. The two most common passwords used are “123456” and “password” due to their convenience and ease of remembrance. Choosing an easy password may be convenient but it comes with the risk of personal information being hacked, exposed and/or stolen.
When generating a strong password, make sure to stay away from the use of personal information. Even an inexperienced hacker can easily find out your name, the names of your spouse or children, your pets, and/or birth dates.
Once your password has been created, store it out of sight in a safe place. Majority of individuals write down login and password information on post it notes that are stuck to desks or computer screens- right in plain sight! This is common because it makes inputting passwords a quicker process and less of an inconvenience, but this also means your information is easily viewable to anyone who walks by your desk or is in your office. Instead, try storing your password in a folder or desk drawer. This still allows for quick access and your information is out of plain sight. Another good rule to follow is having a different password for each account. Using one password for every account is risky; if one account is hacked the chances are greater for the others to be hacked as well. Utilizing a strong password that is different for every account login and stored out of site makes it more difficult for the hacker and lessens the risk of personal information being stolen.
Tips for creating a strong password:
- Make sure the password is at least 8 characters.
- Include at least 4 types of characters- uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
- Try to intertwine the characters, substituting numbers and symbols in place of a letter.
Recognizing the importance of a strong password for cyber security is a vital part to protecting your personal information online.