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Your Passwords Are Worse Than You Think (The Easiest Ways to Fix Them)



Your Passwords Are Worse Than You Think (The Easiest Ways to Fix Them)

World Password Day was celebrated during the week on Thursday the 5th of May and we would like to remind you why you need to fix your password strength. A hacker will figure out a password such as this “t3l3v!s!0n” about as quickly as they will turn on a television set. We will remind you that your password security is likely at great risk, especially if you recycle the same password for multiple accounts or you use simple passwords because they’re easy to remember.

According to a survey conducted by Google on 4,000 American adults to understand the steps they take to keep their digital lives secure. Well, it was found from the survey that while almost 40% of Americans have dealt with a personal data breach, 20% admit they use basic passwords anyone could guess. This showed how at risk many people are from a password breach.

The survey also found out that more than half of respondents to the survey have used personal information for their passwords, such as their name, birthday, the name of their partner, child, friend, family member, or pet, while 65% say they reuse passwords for various accounts. This is bad news which means hackers can easily crack such passwords.

What Makes a Great Password?

Talking of what makes a great password means we will have to talk about passwords themselves which are supposed to be strong and unique. A great password should be strong and unique.

A strong password is hard for both a human and a computer to guess. It’s much more obvious how to make a tricky password to keep your roommate out than it is to keep out a hacker via brute force which is simply the act of throwing password after password at a system until there is a password match.

A computer can easily guess your password if the password is made up of common dictionary words, even if you have ever-so-cleverly replaced some of those letters with numbers or special characters. A hacker will figure out “t3l3v!s!0n” about as quickly as they will figure out “television,” as a password because their computer knows to look for those tricks.

Traditionally, a large, randomized password is recommended as the best approach. No one’s guessing a password like “Sj12#8)23&$k51*as.x*[email protected]*23,” and it would likely take a computer quite some time to crack it.

But you don’t need to make a password that sucks to remember. Passwords that use a short string of random words can be effectively difficult to crack for your use case. “correcthorsebatterystaple” is a strong password that isn’t too hard to memorize. A human certainly wouldn’t guess a password like this one, and a computer would take far too long running through dictionary words before it could crack it.

A Password Manager Can do all the Hard Work for you

Having a strong password is not enough to keep hackers away and your password secured if you have several accounts. This is the case because if you reuse your strong password it also puts you in danger of getting your password cracked by hackers, therefore you need to use a unique password for each of your accounts.

While your new password is certainly hard to crack, you should never use it more than once. Cracking your password isn’t the only way to figure it out. If a company you use gets hacked, chances are that your password could get leaked. If that happens, hackers will test your password with all the accounts they can come across, and if by chance you have reused your password in several accounts then your password security gets compromised.

The only way to avoid reusing your strong password and creating a unique password for each of your accounts. Because using a unique password is the best approach to password security. If you are worried about having to memorize your different unique passwords, do not worry anymore because that is where a password manager comes in to help you remember all these passwords.

With a password manager, you only need to worry about the password manager login and have your other passwords saved on an encrypted form on the password manager that gets to fill them into your accounts when they are required. You just need to make one strong, unique password to remember for your password manager, and you’ll have access to your entire library of passwords at any time.

A Password is Only Good Until Someone Figures it out

You need to regularly change your passwords and do not reuse your password even if you are using a password manager as we have stated earlier hackers can get hold of your password in a company data break or leak. And if someone finds out your password then you’re done with it, especially if that person is a bad actor.

Always Use 2FA When Available

Among other password protection practices and measures, you should also use two-factor authentication (2FA). This is very important because it gives your password and accounts especially the second layer of security with verification methods that are meant to always be with you. 2FA ensures you do not get badly hit even in the case of a password data leak from a company that you have an account with.

Kevin Afoma Onwuagbanusi is a freelance writer and a graduate of Mechanical Engineering (BEng.) and Masters in Accounting (MSc) with 8+ years of experience writing across several niches, with a remarkable likeness to crypto, and personal finances, automotive, games, and technology.