Keep your data clean with password hygiene

October 10th, 2022

From streaming services to shopping apps to workplace credentials, many of us spend ample time creating passwords that lock down our accounts and keep our data safe. One NordPass study reveals that the average person has a staggering 100 passwords – some of which will inevitably include duplicates and weak phrases for memorability. 

Though tempting, don’t fall into the trap of convenience! Creating easy-to-guess passwords and repeating them across your accounts makes you a prime target for ransomware attacks, wherein bad actors lock or otherwise prevent you from accessing your data until you pay them. According to Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, ransomware attempts have increased to where we now face incidents at a rate higher than the last five years combined. 

In recognition of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we encourage you to consider the following tips for creating ironclad passwords and bolstering your security. 

  1. Use a password manager
    A password manager is a tool that keeps track of all your passwords, compiling them in a single account. Additionally, many password managers will generate long, convoluted and incredibly difficult-to-crack passwords for your accounts. With these two features combined, you effectively bypass the need to remember your passwords. The “master” password to your management software is the only one you’ll ever truly need, making comprehensive account security a snap.
     
  2. Follow the password strength meter
    According to GetProtected, The most secure passwords are those that incorporate at least one feature from each of the four character types: 1) lowercase letters, 2) uppercase letters, 3) numbers, and 4) special characters. Additionally, a password length of 14 characters or more is the strongest. To test your password strength, you can use Security.org's online password security tool. You can also simply defer to what your password manager automatically generates – this is guaranteed to meet a high standard of security. 
     
  3. Enable two-factor authentication
    Two-factor authentication is the act of using something you have – for example, a cell phone – to confirm your identity, as opposed to relying solely on what you know, such as your password. If your password is cracked, a physical device functions as a crucial secondary barrier. Furthermore, many services will alert you when an attempt to change your password has been made. Not only will two-factor authentication thwart hacking attempts, but it will also provide you advance notice that you need to change your compromised password. 

We live in a world of constant technological advancements, which means that hacking and phishing attacks will only continue to adapt and improve. It is more important than ever to familiarize yourself with complex password creation and account security measures: visit GetProtected today to learn more about password safety and data security.