Everything from your smartphone, tablet, debit card, computer or personal safe has a password or PIN of some kind. Creating a secure password is of the utmost importance if you need to protect personal or business information from hackers or thieves in this digital age. But, making a secure password can be very difficult if you don’t know what hackers have a hard time guessing or figuring out with brute force techniques.
In this little how to article we are going to showcase five secure password tips which will help you to create the best password for your security needs.
Test your current passwords
There are lots and lots of 100% free online tools you can use to find out how secure your current password is as well as how secure your future passwords are. At Technology Blogged, we use “How Secure is My Password” which can be found right here.
Overall the free online tool is fun to use and can also generate highly secure passwords for you.
The safest passwords are very long, as these are much harder to guess. Some people consider a password with eight characters to be long enough, but others say that 10 characters should be the minimum. However, most people agree that the longer the password, the better.
At the same time, make sure you can remember the password. One problem with using a long password is that it can be very difficult to remember if the password isn’t relevant to you. Writing down the password can be helpful, but corporate spies and hackers often looking for these pieces of paper on desks or in the garbage.
While 10 characters or longer is a great start, what type of characters should you included in your password? Most secure services allow you to create type-sensitive passwords. This means that if your password includes an uppercase letter, then you have to type the password in with that uppercase letter. While this is slightly annoying, especially if you just want to type the password in quickly, it is also safer.
The best passwords have an array of different characters. You should have at least one number, lowercase letter and uppercase letter. Many people also suggest a special character, like an ampersand or the dollar sign, but some services do not allow you to make a password with special characters. While special characters are safer, since they are rarely used, they can be skipped if your service does not allow them.
Don’t Use Words
The easiest passwords to guess with brute forcing hacking are those that use real words. For example, hackers will usually first try out passwords that include your name, your pet’s name, family member’s names or company’s name. They will also try words in the dictionary, especially words like admin, password or guest.
A secure password will not use real words. Instead, you should use a mass of different alphanumeric characters that is very difficult to decipher. For example, “66rH(bc3Kl” is a very hard password to guess, while “guest1234” is a very easy password to guess.
Even if your password seems completely safe, like the above example, never use the same password for two different services. If a hacker is able to guess the one password, then he or she effectively knows how to get into your email, online databases and everything else. Using one password is like using one key for your entire house and all of your cars.
Whenever you need to make a password, make sure it is completely different from your other passwords. Don’t just switch around the characters; you should make a completely different password so it is unrecognizable from the original one.
Change your Password
Your current password may be very secure, and there may be no way for a hacker to guess it. But, you should still change your passwords every three to six months. Even the most illegible passwords can be cracked, so it is only a matter of time before a diligent hacker gets into your system.
To decrease the chance of a hacker getting into your computer or email, it is best if you change your password periodically. It doesn’t matter if you are a consumer or a business user, your password can still be stolen if you use the same password for years and years.
Picking the right password can be very difficult, and it can be even harder to remember your password. Try to make the password relevant in some way, and make sure you never write it down. Writing it down is practically like handing it to a hacker, as he or she can easily steal your password out of a desk drawer or a trash can. Also, make sure you change your password periodically to keep yourself safe.
Image credit: Lifehacker.
About Jakk: Jakk Ogden is the founder of Technology Blogged. 23, with a love for good writing, you'll find Jakk playing 'Drag Racing' on his Nexus 5 and rocking a pair of Grado headphones. If you love technology, be sure to subscribe to his feed for unique editorials. Find me on Google+. View author profile.