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Password security is among the most essential aspects of our online safety, as it helps keep hackers at bay.
However, it can be pretty overwhelming to consistently create solid passwords and remember them all. Consequently, users often end up using the same password for different accounts and hoping for the best.
The above scenario is especially worrying when it involves bank credentials or credit card data, like the ones used on eCommerce websites.
Apart from branding, which requires that users choose a niche and find domain name, eCommerce websites need robust security – both from the business and the client-side.
Here Are 6 Tips for Creating Reliable Passwords
In this article, we’ll help you upgrade your password game by showing six tips for creating reliable passwords you’ll remember. Let’s begin.
1. Use Passphrases with Symbols and Numbers
The more traditional approach for creating a password is to include uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
However, memorizing something like oPHj%5L_wW3 can be frustrating. Whereas turning blueberry into bLu:3be12Ry is too predictable and can easily be deduced by hackers.
Passphrases combine two or more words to create more solid passwords. While lampscounteropeningsmonsterssamuel is enough to make a hacker’s job difficult, combining it with symbols and numbers makes it more challenging to crack.
Using a passphrase generator like CorrectHorseBatteryStaple is a great way to create unique passwords.
The tool lets users customize the passphrase’s minimal words, length, and preferred separator. It can also include jargon and scientific terminology, and provides options for making the first letter uppercase and inserting numbers to the passphrase’s end.
2. Use Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication refers to a password security hardening method that requires users to verify their authenticity by providing another piece of information.
Thus, hackers will need more than the password to crack into an account, and users will get notified if someone tries to access their accounts.
Some of the most popular 2FA practices include:
- SMS 2FA. Requires users to register their phone number to get their one-time password via SMS. Typically, a platform will send a five or six-digit code that’s only valid for a short period, from 30 seconds to 20 minutes.
- Email 2FA. With this method, the platform sends an email containing an OTP (one-time passcode) or provides a unique verification link for users.
- TOTP 2FA. Short for time-based one-time password. Users need to install a 2FA application to get their code. Some of the best 2FA apps include Google Authenticator and Authy.
- Push-based 2FA. It sends a notification containing Accept and Deny login options to the user’s trusted device. It also informs where the login attempt is coming from.
3. Avoid Recycling Your Passwords
Using a password for multiple accounts is a terrible idea. It goes without saying, but recycling a password can significantly increase the accounts’ vulnerability. Once hackers steal a user’s password, they’ll try it on every other account linked to that specific user.
If hackers don’t know where the user uses the password, they’ll just test it on every online service they know. With this method, it’s more than likely that hackers will hit one or two of the user’s accounts.
In addition, users should also avoid using variations of their root passwords, like changing the symbols, adding affixes, or sequencing the numbers. Chances are that hackers will try such variations when pre-computing possible passwords.
4. Make Your Passwords Long
It’s been common knowledge that passwords need to have at least eight characters. However, hackers can crack them in just a few hours using a brute force algorithm. Thus, opting for a longer password is the way to go.
Today’s threshold is 12-characters. However, it’s best if you create a password that contains 16 characters.
Once you’ve got the perfect password, Search Space Calculator helps you estimate how long it may take for hackers to crack it.
However, keep in mind that this tool isn’t a password strength meter. It only shows the number of variations of the chosen password. Thus, a hacker may crack it quicker than the estimated time if the correct password is listed on top of the brute force rainbow table.
5. Avoid Common Words
To get into an account, hackers test the most popular passwords first and foremost. If you haven’t noticed yet, most of such passwords use common words.
The crackability of the word password is only 0.19 milliseconds, making it one of the most predictable passwords to hack. Other examples of easy passwords include 123456, 1q2w3e, and 111111.
Common words, like admin, sunshine, and ninja, are also quick to crack. In addition, users have been using popular names, such as jessica, daniel, and hannah, for their passwords. With that said, pet names are also among the most obvious passwords to guess.
For the above reasons, avoid common words at all costs. In addition, steer clear from using information easily obtained, such as nicknames, addresses, and date of birth.
6. Use a Password Manager
A password manager allows users to organize their passwords, from generating to storing them.
Using this type of software, all users have to do is memorize the master password to access their password manager account. One thing to note is that it needs to be very difficult to crack to help ensure the safety of the stored passwords.
LastPass and KeePass are among the most reliable password managers on the market. The former has free and paid versions, whereas the latter is an open-source platform that’s completely free to use.
Password security is among the most critical factors that impact a user’s overall online experience. As hackers develop more creative and sophisticated attacks, users need to up their game to protect their data and assets.
Throughout this article, you’ve learned six tips for creating reliable passwords you’ll remember. Let’s have a short recap:
- Use passphrases with symbols and numbers. They’re hard to pre-compute but easier to memorize than the traditional random-strings-of-character passwords.
- Use two-factor authentication. It’s a method that requires users to input another piece of information in addition to their password.
- Avoid recycling your passwords. Reusing and recycling one password for every account will compromise your security. It’s just too risky.
- Make your passwords long. Aim for 12 or 16-character long passwords to better protect your accounts.
- Avoid common words. Hackers will test such passwords before going with a brute force attack.
- Use a password manager. Generate, store, and automate password entry. All users need to do is create a strong master password and memorize it.
Congratulations, now you know how to get a reliable yet memorable password for each of your accounts. That said, cybersecurity is ever-changing, so keep yourself informed about the latest password security trends.