A strong password is your first line of defence against would be attackers. Don’t make it easy for them, follow these steps to creating passwords to help keep you safe online.
Weak passwords can be easy to crack using password-cracking software which repeatedly tests different passwords until they find the correct one. Many people create passwords based on their partners’ names, a hobby, or a simple pattern because these types of passwords are easy to remember. These are also easy for hackers to guess.
Tips for creating strong passwords
- Always use different passwords for different accounts. That way if one account is hacked, your others are still safe.
- Never use personal information such as your name, birthday, or spouse's name. Personal information is often publicly available, which makes it easier for someone to guess your password.
- Use a longer password. Your password should be at least six characters long, and for extra security it should ideally be at least 12 characters and include numbers, symbols, and both uppercase and lowercase letters.
- If you need to write down your passwords, keep them in a secure place. It's even better if you encrypt your passwords, or write down hints for them that others won't be able to understand.
- Avoid using words that can be found in the dictionary.
- Try using a phrase that only you know. One idea is to think of a phrase that only you know and make it be related to a particular website to help you remember it. For your email, you could start with “My friends Tom and Jasmine send me a funny email once a day” and then use numbers and letters to recreate it. “MfT&Jsmafe1ad” is a password with lots of variations. Then repeat this process for other sites.