Use strong passwords

Use strong passwords

Use strong passwords


Why you need strong passwords

By now, most of us are aware of what a password is and its main functions. We use it every day from getting money at the ATM, debit cards, logging in to our email, or ordering something online. It is advised to have different passwords for different services you utilize that requires one. It may be frustrating keeping track of all those letters, numbers, and symbol combinations, but these protections exist because hackers represent a real threat to your information.

How to choose good passwords

Avoid common mistakes

The biggest common mistake when composing a password is having personal information within the password. Sure the password is easier to remember but that also makes it much easier to crack for an attacker. Let's use a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN) as an example. Does your PIN contain your address, phone number, or your birth date? Consider how easily accessible the information is to the general public.

Length and complexity

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), passphrases are the new best practice when it comes to creating passwords. NIST advises the public to consider a passphrase that lengths from 15-64 characters if possible. Best Practice prefers length of password over password complexity. This actually makes a lot of sense as longer passphrases take longer to crack, and are easier to remember than a string of meaningless characters.

Test how secure your password/passphrase is over at How Secure Is My Password? | Password Strength Checker (

Dos and don'ts
  • Use different passwords on different systems and accounts
  • Use the longest password or passphrase permissible by each password system.
  • Develop mnemonics to remember complex passwords.
  • Consider using a password manager program to keep track of passwords.
  • Do not use passwords that are based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed.

How to protect your passwords

The first and the best thing you can do to protect your new complex passwords is to make sure it's secured someplace that is not easily accessible. Writing it down and leaving it around your work area makes it easily accessible for someone with physical access to the office. The next best method to protect your password is simply not to tell anyone your password. Whether it's sharing your password with a trusted friend or that email pretending to be a distant relative in financial need. Finally, you can employ the aid of password managers such as LastPass, Keepass, etc. to store your encrypted information. Just remember to use the same criteria mentioned above when formulating your master password along with utilizing multi-factor authentication (MFA).