Just how secure is your password?

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If you are using lowercase passwords such as your first name, your favourite football team or the number 123456, you should change them immediately. While these types of passwords are easy to remember, they are also very easy to crack. This can leave your online and social media accounts at risk. 

First and foremost, the ideal password should be made up of 12 to 15 characters and feature a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, along with symbols and numbers. If all of this sounds a bit too much like hard work, there are a number of simple ways to ensure that your passwords are as secure as possible. 

Weak passwords are a global issue, “password” is a popular choice amongst English speakers, while the German equivalent “Passwort” ranks high amongst German speakers. An ExpressVPN survey recently revealed poor cybersecurity practices with 40% of respondents using a variation of their first and/or last name for their passwords. Let’s take a look at the best way to generate an almost impregnable password to protect your online accounts.

Use random passwords for each site

You should not only use a random password, which you can create via online password generators, but you should also use a different password for each website or platform. This is because you could be inadvertently revealing your password on your Facebook or Instagram accounts with birthdays being used for passwords. Unbelievable? Well, a recent survey revealed that almost 44% of respondents said their passwords contained their date of birth!

On websites such as LastPass, you can customise your password to include all characters in uppercase, lowercase and with numbers and symbols to generate the perfect password such as 1o!u5*AE4g4j. The site also allows you to generate passwords, which are easy to read or say.

Password checker sites

Once you have chosen a new password, you should use a password checker site to find out how secure it is. Ashley, which is a popular password in the UK, could be cracked instantly, while our randomly generated password 1o!u5*AE4g4j would take a computer about 34 thousand years to crack!

Password managers

Another way to protect your passwords is to use an encrypted vault such as Google Password Manager in order to safely store and manage your passwords and also generate new passwords. They are particularly useful for retrieving complex but forgettable passwords such as 1o!u5*AE4g4j, which we generated earlier.

Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication or two-step verification is another layer of security that you can add to your online accounts. So, when you have generated a strong password, you can incorporate two-factor authentication to a wide range of online accounts. This means that when you sign in to your account, you will have a one-time code sent to your email or mobile phone.

Hopefully, you will now have the motivation to change all of your vulnerable passwords and select different passwords for each online account. If you follow the suggestions in this guide, you will almost certainly never face the nightmare of losing access to any of your important online accounts.

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