Cybersecurity is a hot topic these days (and has been for the last few years). I thought I’d go ahead and jump in and discuss how to best-protect yourself in a social media-centric world. I’m not going to chat about the cloud or any other IT-related topics, so don’t hold your breath. We’ll talk about that another day – trust me, there’s plenty to say!
Let’s discuss passwords:
We have many devices, but how do we access them? If it’s not your iPhone, iPad, or other i-device, it’s most likely password protected. Who can say they have a properly created password that wouldn’t be hacked by an entry-level hacker? Not me.. well maybe now. Thanks to How-to-Geek, here is how to create the perfect password:
- Has 12 Characters, Minimum: You need to choose a password that’s long enough. There’s no minimum password length everyone agrees on, but you should generally go for passwords that are a minimum of 12 to 14 characters in length. A longer password would be even better.
- Includes Numbers, Symbols, Capital Letters, and Lower-Case Letters: Use a mix of different types of characters to make the password harder to crack.
- Isn’t a Dictionary Word or Combination of Dictionary Words: Stay away from obvious dictionary words and combinations of dictionary words. Any word on its own is bad. Any combination of a few words, especially if they’re obvious, is also bad. For example, “house” is a terrible password. “Red house” is also very bad.
- Doesn’t Rely on Obvious Substitutions: Don’t use common substitutions, either — for example, “H0use” isn’t strong just because you’ve replaced an o with a 0. That’s just obvious.
In addition to a secure password, you cannot, I repeat, YOU CANNOT use the same password for all of your accounts. Each website, account, etc. should have its own unique password. That’s a lot of passwords to remember, right? Well, you don’t have to remember them all.
Use a password keeper. There are a few web-based services that save and create secure passwords. Here are a few thanks to Digital Trends:
- 1Password (which can be a confusing name in my opinion…)
- Keeper Security Password Manager
- Sticky Password
Sure, passwords are the most common way we log into services on the web, but I’m sure you’ve seen this:
Many services allow you to sign in via your Facebook or Google account. This is fine, except when those credentials are compromised. This is why it’s important to have different passwords for each service!
I know, I know – enough about passwords already, right? BUT it’s extremely important! I hope you get it now 🙂
Always implement Face ID, Touch ID, Authenticators, or 2-step log ins whenever possible – this will only increase your security and let you know if any unauthorized parties are accessing your accounts. Lastly, keep your physical devices safe and protected at all times. They’re not only expensive, but if you’re anything like me, if you have my computer or phone, you have my life or at least access to it.
I could chat about this topic for quite a while, but I thinkI’ll stop there. Hopefully you found this information helpful. Feel free to reach out to me with questions – I’m happy to take this conversation off-line.