Use At Least 8 Characters
Longer passwords take more time to crack. Experts suggest users create passwords that contain at least 8 characters. However, the ideal password should be closer to 16 characters long, including a mix of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Avoid Names and Dictionary Words
While stringing together a few words might seem like a strong password, it’s in fact very easy to crack. With password cracking software, hackers can run through common dictionary words within a matter of hours. Users should create passwords with random characters that have no meaning.
Don’t make your password personal
Often users create passwords using their name, birthday, and other personal characteristics because they’re easy to remember. The problem with these passwords is that information like names and birthday’s can easily be found by doing a quick Google search.
Stay away from patterns and predictable formulas
Generally, when users create a password, they follow a common formula: pick a word, capitalize the first letter, add a number, and add a common symbol at the end. These types of patterns are obvious to guess and should be avoided when creating passwords.
Store accounts in a password manager
Password managers like LastPass, KeePass, and Keeper allow users to store and organize their passwords. These applications often come with tools to help you generate more secure passwords, auto-fill forms, and much more. Using these tools only requires an individual to remember one password: the one for his or her manager account.
Create unique passwords for all accounts
One of the biggest mistakes that users make is replicating the same or very similar passwords on multiple accounts. As a result, cracking one password will lead to a domino effect that allows hackers entry into multiple accounts with little effort. All of your accounts should use different passwords that follow the best practices mentioned.
Passwords are difficult to remember
Let’s face it: even if you followed all the rules and created a strong password, you still have to be able to remember your password for it to be efficient. The average user has around 27 accounts, and it can be difficult creating a unique password for each, much less trying to keep track of which password goes to with what account.
Of course, you can always use a password manager, but even these tools are risky. If someone cracks your universal password, they’ll have access to all the accounts stored on your manager.