21 Sep 2023
From checking your email to using online money transfer services, you'll need to create a password to do just about anything online. Additionally, while using a brief, simple password is easier, your online security may be seriously compromised by doing so. You should use strong, long passwords that are challenging for hackers to crack while still being relatively simple to remember to protect yourself and your data.
Passwords are a crucial part of your lives in general, and as more of the daily services that everyone relies on move online, the stakes get higher and higher. These ten suggestions will help you increase your online security and password strength.
In an effort to access your accounts, hackers employ several techniques. To guess your password, the most basic method is to personally target you and manually type in letters, numbers, and symbols. Using a "brute force attack" is considered the more sophisticated approach. This method uses a computer program to quickly iterate through each possible combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to decipher your password.
Your password's length and complexity will affect how long it takes to complete. It only takes a fraction of a second to decrypt three-character passwords.
Symbols, numbers, and letters should be mixed randomly. For example, you could replace the letter O with a zero or the letter A with a @. Consider capitalising the first letter of each new word in your password phrase if it's a phrase, as this will make it simpler for you to remember.
Long passwords are good and even better if they contain random words and phrases. It will be more difficult to decipher your word combinations if none appear in a dictionary, none of your phrases appear in published literature, and none is grammatically sound. Avoid using keyboard shortcuts like the commonly used "qwerty" or the numbers in order, which are sequential.
Not using information that someone could quickly (or even slowly) deduce by looking through your social media accounts is one aspect of having a strong password. Don't use "Fluffy Lv3r" as your password if you frequently post about your dog, Fluffy.
Think about the full scope of the knowledge available. Despite being a generally secure password, "H@rRy*P0tt3r" shouldn't be used if you belong to a Harry Potter fan club or publish quizzes on your page. Whenever using online banking to send money online, make extra protection for your passwords.
Avoid using them in your password if they contain any easily obtainable information about you, such as your name, date of birth, high school, address, city of birth, or the names of your family members or pets. These only make it simpler for someone to guess your password.
Choose security questions and answers that would be illegible to someone who is browsing your social media accounts if you were asked to do so when creating an online account.
Password managers can generate and store strong passwords on your behalf automatically. You can access these passwords by entering the master password in an encrypted, central location where they are stored. Keep that in mind! Numerous services offer optional features that can be used in addition to their free offerings, including the ability to sync new passwords across multiple devices and audit your password used to make sure you aren't using the same password too frequently.
The lists of compromised email addresses and passwords are frequently posted online after large-scale hacks like the one hackers recently carried out on well-known email servers. Your information can easily be used to log into any of these other accounts if your account is compromised and you frequently use the same email address and password across different websites.
For everything, use different passwords. Use different passwords for every app, like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or online money transfer apps.
When it's feasible, use two-factor or multi-factor authentication, especially for your email accounts. Many email providers, including Gmail, Microsoft Mail, and others, now permit this.
As much as you can, protect your email accounts. Activate this setting to add an additional layer of security that requires you to authenticate before using a different verification method, such as a code received via text message or an authenticating app, to secure the login process.
Every time it's possible, you should do this, but your email account in particular. You must safeguard your email address to safeguard all other accounts because password resets are frequently sent to it.
Passwords should never be shared with anyone else. If you are in plain view of other people, avoid entering your password on your device. Furthermore, avoid sticking your password on a sticky note on your office computer. If you keep a list of your passwords, or even better, a password hint sheet, on your computer in a document file, give the file a random name to make it less obvious to prying eyes. Learn some security measures to protect yourself from online fraud.
When logging onto any website or app, be mindful of any potential risks, such as those associated with using public kiosks and charging stations. A virus or piece of malware could intercept any information you type on the computer. These systems' configuration and management are unknown, as is the level of security. Public Wi-Fi operates similarly.
Avoid entering your password into any public network website, whether at the airport or your favourite coffee shop, in a college lecture hall, or in a hotel room. Public Wi-Fi may be practical and easy on your wallet as you try to avoid overage data charges from your cellular provider. If you're going to work from a public network, it's best to log in via a virtual private network (VPN).
A person can start by setting up a strong password to protect their personal devices and data. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and characters, and never use personal information. Prioritise password length, never use the same password twice and steer clear of real words. Changing your password can stop hackers from gaining access to your private data.
Additionally, do your best to avoid using insecure websites, especially when sending money abroad. Instead, use websites like ACE Money Transfer.
To protect the security of your online information, keep in mind to use these guidelines whenever you create a password. When you're not home, the only thing burglars have to get past is your password, just like the lock on your apartment door. A weak password functions as a weak lock. The number of people who can access your accounts is significantly increased by this. Never share your credentials with anyone, and always use a credible, authentic, and reliable provider like ACE Money Transfer every time you need to make a global money transfer from overseas for your loved ones.
What makes a password strong?
A password is considered strong when it is lengthy (at least 12 characters), and incorporates a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. Strong passwords are also unique and not easily guessable, avoiding common words, phrases, or patterns.
Why is it important to have a secure password?
Having a secure password is crucial as it is the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your personal information, accounts, and other online services. A secure password helps protect your identity, finances, and other critical data from cyber threats like hacking, phishing, and identity theft.
How often should I change my password?
It's recommended to change your passwords regularly, at least every three to six months. However, it’s more important to have a strong, unique password than to change it frequently. If a password is compromised or there is suspicion of a breach, change it immediately.
Can I use a password manager to handle my passwords?
Yes, using a password manager is highly recommended. Password managers can generate, retrieve, and store complex passwords for you, allowing you to maintain strong, unique passwords for each of your accounts without having to remember them all. However, it's crucial to choose a reputable password manager with robust security features.
Is it safe to use the same password for multiple accounts?
No, using the same password for multiple accounts increases the risk of multiple accounts being compromised if one gets hacked. It's important to have distinct passwords for each account to prevent a security breach on one account from compromising your other accounts.