Thanks to the impending deadline for the European Union's GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), online security has been getting a lot of attention of late. We think it's also a great excuse to do some spring password cleanup. Creating a secure password shouldn't be difficult. Below is a list of guidelines for creating and managing passwords for your online accounts:
- Don't reuse passwords. Create a unique password for every site you visit. If there is a breach and you password is exposed, the reuse of that password will mean your accounts have a much greater risk of being compromised.
- Avoid personal information & common words. Don’t use information available to others like your birthday, phone number, or Social Security number. Attackers often use a dictionary of previously exposed passwords and information gathered from the internet to help them guess a password.
- Consider using a password manager. Consider storing your passwords in a password manager, which allows you store all your password information in one place (like LastPass or RoboForm). Be sure to choose a strong master password that you can remember.
- Try out a passphrase. A passphrase is longer than a typical password, are usually easier to remember, and are harder for attackers to guess when compared to conventional passwords. Avoid common phrases or song lyrics or maybe even try using a password to change your life.
- Change your passwords periodically. It's important to change your passwords on regular intervals and avoid keeping the same password for long periods of time.
We know it can seem unnecessary or annoying, but keeping your passwords safe is more important than ever as we move more of our lives online.