A strong password is the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your online accounts. With the recent news about Heartbleed, everyone should make their passwords strong enough to secure their online accounts. Strong passwords are difficult to create and hard to remember. But if you rely on simple and weak passwords, you make a hacker’s job much easier.
Fortunately, we like to share with you a few techniques that help you create a super-strong and secure password and that is easy to remember.
Create strong passwords
Create passwords that are hard to guess. Avoid using special dates; names of spouses, children, relatives or pets in your password. The strongest password is the one that includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Of course, that’s a bit difficult to remember. Password need to be a minimum of 12 characters long. A longer password would be strong and hard to crack. You could type in the entire phrase or you can use the first of each junk, keeping punctuation intact as well. For instance, for the phrase “I graduated from Harvard University in ‘90” your password may look like this “IGFHUi#90” with a # symbol to make it more secure.Also, it is easy for you to remember.
Avoid using dictionary words for your password. They are easy for intruders to guess.
Avoid using the same password across all sites
Though you’ve come up with a unique and strong password, don’t use it for every site. Since lots of people do that, you would be at the risk that a hacker who gains access on a legitimate site, could use your password to access your accounts on other sites. Hence, it would be safe to add a couple of unique characters for each site. For example for your Facebook account you could have FB somewhere in the password and perhaps GO in your Google accounts password.
Consider using password manager
There are several tools or Web services like RoboForm and LastPass that can generate passwords for you and remember them so you don’t have to. These tools are password protected, though you have the option of running RoboForm without a password or having Lastpass remember its own password on your computer, tablet or smartphone. That’s safe as long as no one else has access to your device. Never share your passwords with anyone not even with your close friend.
Use two-step authentication
It also pays to enable this technique where available. This is a two-step login process so merely entering a password isn’t enough. For example, a code may be sent to your mobile phone during login, and you need to confirm the code as the second stage. Though it’s not as convenient but it’s more secure. Popular sites like Google, Twitter, Dropbox, Amazon, PayPal, Yahoo, Microsoft and others all offer two-step authentication now, but first you need to manually enable this in your account settings.