Unlock Password Security: 3 Tips to Ensure Your Cyber Safety

Let’s face it, password security can be stressful. There is a password for everything, and sometimes it feels like you forget it as soon as you make it. Google performed a study in collaboration with Harris Poll and found that 13% of people reuse the same password across all accounts, and another 52% use the same one for more than one of their online accounts. Only 35% use a different password for every account.

Passwords, or people’s lack of a password strategy is responsible for thousands of jobs, including our support team (shoutout to the gang!!).

Red e App is a tech company that is changing the way we communicate with non-desk workers. However, in some ways we are a bit old-fashioned: We still have a phone number you can call and receive a call back from an actual human being! The kicker is most of the phone calls we receive are from folks that have forgotten their password.

Astonishingly, HYPR also conducted a study that concluded 75% of those surveyed say they forgot a password and have had to reset it within the last 90 days. Additionally, Google went on to find out that 75% of individuals deal with regular frustration from passwords and having to keep track of them. On top of that, the internet tells us that 33% of people admit to feeling something akin to RAGE when forgetting a password (I may just be saying that to make myself feel better, haven’t quite decided yet).

Tech does have a problem with security, and luckily there are very smart people working on it, but you should have a plan for managing passwords in the meantime. 

Here are the three best practices when creating a password:

Length:

Creating a password with sufficient length is crucial because it significantly increases the complexity and time required for attackers to guess or crack it. Short passwords are more vulnerable to brute-force attacks, where attackers systematically try all possible combinations of characters until they find the correct one. The longer your password, the larger the search space becomes, making it exponentially more difficult and time-consuming for attackers to crack it through brute-force methods.

A longer password also provides more room for incorporating a variety of character types, such as uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. This complexity adds an extra layer of security by making the password harder to guess using dictionary-based attacks or common password lists.

Complexity:

Password complexity refers to the use of a combination of different character types in your password. By including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, you improve password Security by making it more resistant to various hacking techniques.

Using a diverse set of characters expands the possible combinations, making it more challenging for attackers to crack your password through methods like dictionary attacks, which involve trying commonly used passwords or words found in dictionaries. Complex passwords reduce the likelihood of your password being easily guessed or cracked by automated tools, increasing the security of your accounts. Our favorite Toby in the office likes to use sentences to help spice up his passwords, if you ever get ahold of one of his accounts give “1 L1k3 d0gs!” a try. He says that using sentences and replacing the vowels with numbers is a great way to make an easily guessable password more complex.

Unique and Unpredictable:

Having a unique and unpredictable password for each of your accounts is vital to protect against the domino effect of password breaches. If you reuse passwords across multiple accounts and one of those accounts is compromised, it puts all your other accounts at risk. Attackers often target weakly secured accounts and then attempt to use the same credentials on other popular services. When we leave our car in a parking garage most of us would not dream of leaving it unlocked. Now imagine the thief getting into the parking garage and having access to EVERY CAR IN THE PLACE. Thats the risk you take when you use one password for every account.

By using a unique password for each account, you limit the potential damage that can occur if one of your passwords is compromised. Even if one account is breached, your other accounts remain secure.

To manage and remember unique passwords effectively, consider using a password manager, which securely stores and generates complex passwords for each account. For all you iOS users out there, iCloud Keychain is a great resource for not only keeping your passwords safe and all in one place, but right in your phone’s settings app! 1Password is also a password management app that is also popular around the office. 

Additionally, it’s essential to regularly update your passwords and avoid using easily guessable information, such as personal details or commonly used words. Regularly changing passwords reduces the risk of unauthorized access to your accounts, especially in the event of data breaches or leaks.

To sum it all up for you, focusing on password length, complexity, and uniqueness enhances the security of your accounts. By using longer passwords, incorporating a variety of character types, and ensuring each password is unique, you significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your important accounts. Adopting these practices helps protect your personal and sensitive information from cyber threats and ensures the integrity of your online presence. So the more clever the password means the more confused you can keep the bad guys. Which in turns means being able to sleep at night!