Password security remains one of the most neglected topics in the cyber world. Despite increasing awareness in this space, there are still a number of people using ‘1234546’ or ‘password’ to secure their account! Here are a few basic tips for the general public to strengthen your passwords:
- Avoid predictability: Use nonsense phrases instead of words. Avoid personal information such as name, DOB, anniversary or a pet name. This can significantly enhance the password strength by making it difficult to crack.
- Decrease reliance on the browser: Even though companies such as Google have taken steps to improve password security of their browsers, still most of the browsers don’t promote good password hygiene. One of these practices include ‘auto-filling’ whereby one stores his/her username and password on the browser, for an instant click and log in. Decreasing dependence on the browser can help reduce the chances of a password breach.
- Use a password manager: It is not ideal to use the same passwords on multiple platforms. A password manager gives you the flexibility to be creative with your password phrases and you don't have to remember all of them. Typically, all stored passwords are encrypted, and you just need one master password to access all the passwords.
- Add a two-factor authentication: Multi-factor authentication adds another protection layer which is crucial in this age. Some of the common tools are Google authenticator or hardware like Yubikey.
- Avoid reusing your passwords: Reuse of passwords increases the risk of being compromised. Check out the website: Have I been pwned to see if any of your personal's account has ever been compromised. Consider changing similar passwords on other websites if your account has ever being compromised.
- Be creative: Try to make your passwords to about 12-15 characters. Another good practise is to to be creative and avoid using same predicable characters. Ex: How about 'g0b1in' instead of 'goblin' as your new password.