Did you know that one of the most commonly used passwords is the word “password”? Some of the others are monkey, qwerty, dragon, ninja, hello and the topmost being 123456 and 123456789. No wonder many sites beg you to have a strong password!
In this digital world, you need an account for almost everything. Be it emailing, messaging, using a phone, laptop, tablet (not the one you swallow along with water), shopping, banking etc. all need two important things to function – a username and a password.
As the app or device, you are using contain sensitive and personal data, it is imperative to create a strong password. This not only reduces the chance of you getting hacked but also prevents anyone from trying to guess yours by just looking at the things on your desk!
But how do you come up with one? Read to find out.
What happens when you don’t have a strong password?
Password is used as a means of authorization, without which it becomes very difficult to restrict unwanted access. It also serves as the first line of defence against cyber attacks.
I know, it becomes frustrating when you have to type your password every time you log into an account so you end up creating an easy and memorizable one. Remember that such words are not only easy for you but others as well especially hackers.
I am not saying a hacker sits at his/her computer and types in the common passwords. Hackers use programs that guess common passwords which include many dictionary words. This is what leads to data breaches that you see on the news.
You might have heard about password managers. These are basically softwares that store, generate and manage your various accounts’ usernames and respective passwords.
But they are softwares too. And like many softwares to use it you need to create an account. Having an account means – yes, you need a password for that too. They are known to be safe but some might feel a little insecure as even they have the risk of getting hacked. Not to mention sometimes you need to pay for it.
Some of you might have tried writing it down and hiding it only to forget your hiding place. Or you might have stored it in a simple text file that is password protected but you forgot the password for that too!
How to come up with a strong password?
The most important thing is that your password should be a minimum of 6 or 8 characters long depending on the website. Here are some tips to remember while creating a strong password:
- Avoid any kind of dictionary words. These are the main reasons your account gets hacked.
- Avoid using random password generators as it becomes very difficult to remember those unrelated random symbols.
- Even though you need a minimum of 6 or 8 characters, try having at least 12 or 14 characters.
- You can shorten your name or add a nickname. But include numbers, special symbols (! # $ @ %..), a mixture of upper-case and lower-case letters, emoticons like 🙂 😀 😛 =( etc.
- Don’t have the same password for multiple accounts. But you can customize it to different sites. For eg, if your name is Xyz with 21 being your birthdate, then have Xyz21@FB (Facebook) and Xyz21@AMZ (Amazon).
- Another way to personalise apart from using your birthdate is, adding your favourite quote, phrase or lyric. For eg: 4da1stTymein4eva (For the first time in forever from Disney’s Frozen).
So now that you know how to come up with a strong password, you don’t need to spend hours thinking before creating a new account or changing your password. Comment down one of your strong passwords. LOL! I’m just kidding. Don’t ever do that. But if you have any other tips, please mention them in the comments below.