Today, the most popular passwords are still simple sequences of letters and numbers – qwerty123, qwerty1 and 123456. These are weak passwords, which are easy to guess and gain access to an account. As a result, an attacker can steal your correspondence, bank card data, and other sensitive information. That’s damaging, even if you are using a website, where you don’t have to provide much information for registration, like playing free online slots or watching YouTube. To avoid negative consequences, learn how to create a strong password, where to store it, and how often to change it.
How to Create and Remember a Password
A strong password must be at least 10 characters long, have lower and upper case letters, and contain a series of symbols. A good password is something like Kl!o%sxc^l(Z, but it’s not easy to remember.
The best combinations to remember are those that evoke associations. Google suggests you approach the question in a non-trivial way and make up a password from a favorite quote or a line from a song. Something wrong, now I long for yesterday, sung by The Beatles. You can add some numbers to these lines and separate everything with service symbols.
This makes a great password: 1Something$Wrong%Now(I)long@For*Yesterday3. It would take about 10 thousand centuries to crack it. You can verify the strength of your password there or on other specialized sites.
You can also invent and remember a difficult password by using some absurd phrase. To make it easier to remember passwords to different sites, it’s a good idea to think of appropriate endings for them. You can practice your creativity for a long time without any strict rules.
Where to Store Your Passwords
If you find it hard to remember lots of different combinations, you can write them down in a notebook. But try not to leave records freely available, for example on the table or the monitor. Keep them in a place known only to you.
Another option is to use special services. Be sure to pay attention to the developer’s reputation, read customer reviews, and choose the appropriate tool. For example, you can store passwords in your Google account or use apps, like 1Password, LastPass and Dashlane – they generate complex random combinations and save them.
Even considering that such services keep a database of passwords, their number is so large that it would be very difficult to associate them with a specific user and site in case of a leak.
When to Change Your Password
Some experts recommend changing passwords every three months, while others believe that once a year is quite enough. It is obligatory to change your password in case of a leak. Sometimes the service itself warns about this. If a mass cyberattack occurs (for example, in 2021 there are almost 8.4 billion unique passwords in the public domain), it’s better to update the data immediately.
For more security, it’s worth using the second authentication factor: one-time passwords from app generators or sms. Attackers will find it much harder to gain access to your password, phone, email or other authentication methods at the same time.
What Passwords You Shouldn’t Use
For years now, the most popular passwords are the simple keyboard sequences qwerty123, qwerty1 and 123456. Also users often use “password” as a password. Such obvious combinations cannot be chosen.
Don’t use personal information like your partner’s name, phone number or date of birth in your password – this is public data, which can be found out by almost anyone. Refrain from mentioning your favorite team or car brand. Real, Barcelona, Liverpool, Ferrari, Lamborghini, and other brand and club names are a direct way for you to lose your password (especially if you have a picture of yourself with your favorite club scarf on your social media page). This applies to the names of your favorite music bands, movies, and TV series.
According to statistics, only 3.5% of passwords were complex (containing letters, numbers and special characters) and only 16.5% were longer than ten characters. Sad statistics show that many people are neglecting to protect their accounts. If you’re not one of them, remember your favorite song and come up with a new password.
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