Good Password Practice

Even though World Password Day was on the 4th of May, we should treat every day as a password day.

Everything that has fundamental importance in our lives is password protected: your computer, your bank account, your house, your smartphone… And each and every one of the password protected devices stores some very sensitive data about our work and personal life; it’s therefore very important to make sure we are using the strongest password combination.

There are some directives to follow every time we choose a password, in order to pick one that is not easily guessable, though all of them have in common three principles: never recycle old passwords, never use the same password across multiple platforms/devices and never share your passwords with others.

So what makes a good password?

  • A good password should be longer than 12 characters
  • It should be a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, upper and lower-case letters
  • A password shouldn’t be easily linked to yourself or your family: do not use pets, kids or relatives names, dates of births, anniversaries; all these are very easily guessable and accessible, especially if you share these information on social networks or any other website
  • Quite obvious but worth a repeat, never use words such as “password”, “user”, “123456”, “qwerty” etc! They’re the easiest to guess!
  • Combination of words, numbers and letters are effective and easy to remember, although they can still be weak depending on the “random words combination” chosen. A password containing upper and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers could therefore be more secure than one only presenting three random words alone.
  • Use a password Manager: a good password manager will help you securely store, organise and encrypt your passwords.  Some password managers will also help you choose a password, by creating a highly secure one, hard to hack; then you’ll only have to remember the password you need to access the password manager software, some also allow two factor authentication, which will make it harder for a third party to log in.

All the above are just some suggestions on how to create a strong password; bear in mind that passwords alone are not enough to protect your info! Make sure you know the threats you could face on and off the internet and be prepared on how to spot them to avoid becoming a victim.

Cyber Security is complex and comes in many different ways, it’s important to have good, patched and up to date antivirus and firewall, but these won’t be at their top efficiency if not backed by your knowledge and cyber awareness.

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