password, password change, frequency, IT, IT security, security

Every year on the first Thursday in May, World Password Day is celebrated and good password habits are promoted.

Below we have compiled 5 tips to create stronger passwords and better protect your digital accounts against account hacking.

Encripto hopes these tips are useful to you, and if you would like to know about frequent password changes and its effects, we recommend that you read our post Frecuent Password Changes Weaken Security as well.

World Password Day – 5 Tips

1. Make your password a nonsense phrase.

Long passwords are good, long passwords that include random words and phrases are better. The extra length of a passphrase makes it harder to crack while also making it easier for you to remember.

15 characters are a great place to start when creating a strong passphrase, but longer credentials are better. Hackers use multiple methods for trying to get into your accounts. A typical method is to use what is known as a “brute force attack.” In this technique, a computer program runs through every possible combination of letters, numbers, and symbols as fast as possible to guess or crack your password. The longer and more complex your password is, the longer this process takes.

2. Avoid common words and obvious personal information.

The goal is to create a passphrase that someone else will not know or be able to easily guess. Stay away from common words like «password», seasons, phrases like «mypassword» and predictable character sequences like «qwerty». Also avoid using your name, nickname, the name of your pet, your birthday, your street name or anything associated with you that someone could find out from social media.

3. Include numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.

Randomly mix up symbols and numbers with letters. You could substitute a zero for the letter ‘O’ or ‘@’ for the letter ‘A’, for example. If your password is a phrase, consider capitalizing the first letter of each new word, which will be easier for you to remember.

4. Do not recycle your credentials.

Use unique passphrases for everything. If someone compromises your reused credentials for one account, the hacker will have the key to every other account you use that passphrase for.

Creating and remembering multiple strong credentials could be a challenge for many people. In such case, Encripto recommends that you use a good password manager to ease the burden. Password managers are applications or online services that auto-generate and store strong passwords on your behalf. These credentials are kept in an encrypted, centralized location, which you can access with a master key.

5. Use two-factor authentication.

If hackers compromised your credentials, you could still keep them from gaining access to your account with two-factor authentication. This is a security safeguard that requires you enter a second piece of information that only you have (usually a one-time code) before the app or service logs you in. A good example of two-factor authentication is BankID, where you have to use a code chip to create a one-time code, and then a password.