Around a hundred, this is the average number of accounts and therefore, passwords associated with each Internet user. Choosing a secure password for each account is consequently essential… and it’s a real headache! However, too often, Internet users neglect their security. So, this is why we will help you choose better and manage your passwords.
Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Private sale… We use on average about a hundred online services, each of them requires the creation of a password. You need it for everything and anything. So to avoid getting ahead of yourself, we sometimes use the same password for several or even all these platforms.
In general, we are not vigilant when it comes to online security. We will tell you everything you need to know about what to do and what not to do when you have to choose your passwords.
Passwords to avoid at all costs
A usual attack method, known as “brute force”, consists of trying all possible combinations of characters until you find the right password. Carried out by computers, these attacks can test tens of thousands of combinations per second.
Never use the same password for multiple accounts
Simply because it would be enough for a hacker (or an overly curious relative) to break one of your passwords to access your entire private life. Might as well make it difficult for him and make him work a lot more. Or, ideally, to discourage him completely.
Another mistake to avoid: use words that are too common and too short
The names and surnames of your loved ones should also be avoided. It also works for your dog, cat, hamster, or any other pet. Obviously, these are simpler passwords to remember but also easier to guess. Simplicity is often at the root of the worst passwords such as 123456, 111111, 000000, or even Kitty09. Don’t laugh… they’re still very common.
Simply replacing letters with special characters is no longer enough
It will all depend on which ones you use and how you insert them. It is, therefore, necessary to avoid, for example, this list of common alterations, which does not really make it very difficult in the context of brute force attacks:
an e by one 3
an a by one @
an i by one 1
an s by one $
an o by one 0
The K1tty09 are to be avoided, as for the H@nds0m3b0y92 or the $exyg1rl85. Even if they are easy to remember and seem complicated, they are not.
Avoid entering passwords on public computers
Public computers such as those found in libraries, hotels, and others can be a target of malware or attacks designed to steal sensitive information, including passwords. If you have no choice, change your password as soon as you find access to a trusted computer. The same advice applies to your computer when you connect to a public WiFi network without using a VPN.
How to choose the right passwords
That’s good until now, but then how to better choose your passwords? Well, in general, it is necessary to do precisely the opposite of what has been presented above.
Choose a complex, lengthy and easy to remember password
No more, short common names, long passwords must be used! It is affirmed that a good password must contain at least 12 characters mixing upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. This does not mean passwords that are totally impossible to remember either.
There are several techniques for this. Some OSes like macOS automatically provide strong passwords that you will never need to remember – you can achieve the same result with a password manager. If you have to choose your passwords by hand, the best advice is as follows:
- Choose 5 random words to make a sentence that means nothing
- Add numbers, capital letters and special characters in places you can remember
The entropy of this kind of passwords is such that it considerably increases the difficulty of hackers to guess it by all current techniques. Repeat the process as many times as you have accounts. Because yes, you need a different password for each account. It makes the memory work 😃 , doesn’t it?
Change your password regularly and at the slightest suspicion
Data leaks and their resale by hackers are no longer so rare. However, the longer your password exists, the more likely it is to be part of a data leak. It is therefore recommended to regularly change passwords on all your accounts – with new, unused passwords. As some accounts are more sensitive than others, it will be necessary to choose an appropriate frequency for these changes. For example, for your email address, try to change it at least once a year.
Never share your passwords with a third party
Never give a password to anyone… especially if asked. No company or organization worthy of the name will ever ask you for your precious key, simply because if necessary, they can access the required information. “Maintenance” or “troubleshooting” are not valid reasons. If you have accidentally given your password to a third party, please change it as soon as possible.
Pay particular attention to the security of your mailbox passwords
Whatever the account is, it is better to focus on security. There is still one type of account on which you must be particularly intractable and maximize its security. Your mailbox is linked to a large part of your accounts. If its security is penetrated, a hacker would have no trouble recovering your other passwords through this means.
That’s it, with all these elements, you should be able to secure all your accounts with incredible and magical passwords. Remember that while simplicity is tempting, it has a significant impact on safety. I’ll leave you to it, I have all my passwords to change.