So, your password is still “password” or your dog’s name or even your own, it’s been like that forever so why change it now? Let us be the first to inform you that there are those who dedicate copious hours looking for ways to breach security, a simple name made up of only alphabetical letters should take a seasoned hacker using their nasty tools a whole few minutes to crack. Then consider what sort of information you stand to be exposed, banking details for your online banking, do you let your browser remember your password for convenience? What if it wasn’t you at the wheel?
Here is a basic guideline based on current Industry standards to help. A complex password is really important protection to assist you with safer online transactions and safer local security for your PC or laptop.
LengthYour password needs to be, at the very least, eight characters in length.
ComplexityYou will need to include letters, punctuation, symbols and or numbers. Make use of the entire keyboard and not just the habitual letters you use most often. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. This makes it exponentially more difficult for hacking software to crack your password.
VariationIn order to keep your strong password effective you will need to change your password often. A good idea is to set a reminder to change your password ideally monthly, however every three months or so would do if you are very busy. Change the passwords for your email, your banking and credit card websites, your PC login and your social media.
VarietyNever use the same password for everything either, this means if one is breached you will have trouble elsewhere. Cybercriminals will steal passwords from websites that have low security themselves and will then use that password for more secure institutions such as your bank.
Avoid these common security pitfalls:
Words spelled backwards
Sequences or repeated characters (12345, 222222)
Personal Information such as your SIN number or driver’s license number or your surname