Shaping Your Future With Digital Security: Passwords
It is significantly important to routinely change your email password to avoid data breaches and hacks alike. Regularly changing your password limits the chance of account breaches, prevents unwanted access, limits outside speculation, and eliminates saved password abuse. So, why is it that something so inconvenient can make a world of difference when trying to protect your security in the long run? Well for starters, even if a hacker did gain access to your account, they would only be able to use it for a short period of time for villainous reasons.
“Password Changes are Recommended Every 90 Days.”
Password changes are recommended every 90 days. By doing so, you will dramatically decrease the chances of your account getting breached. Getting in the routine of changing your password will help to keep cyberbullies guessing, and make sure that no one can gain access to your personal account.
Changing your passwords on a routine basis will be your best bet when trying to avoid data breaches and hacks. For example, if a hacker were to gain access to any of your bank accounts, they could use it to make transfers into their own account. Or if someone were to acquire your email password they could monitor or interfere with your online communications.
So… we’ve gone over why you should change your password but you may be asking yourself how long and what sort of characters should I use? Well as a general rule, you should always make your passwords at least 8 characters long. Every character you add increases the difficulty of someone guessing it. Rather than using a word, a phrase will actually be your best option when choosing the best form of password security. A phrase that consists of 24 to 30 letters will substantially decrease the chances of someone guessing your password, and therefore hacking your account.
“A Phrase will be Your Best Option”
Ideally, you will want to choose something that is easy to remember or has some sort of meaning to you. For example, it could be a phrase your mother said to you when you were a kid or a quote from a movie. Whatever you choose, make sure it is something you can easily remember. Another trick is to pick a symbol that correlates to the specific account you are using. For example, if you are creating a password for your bank account you could use a $ symbol or if the password is for email you could include an @ symbol. Try to be strategic with your choice of words and NEVER use the same password for multiple accounts, because if someone were to acquire that single password, they would then have access to all of your accounts.
If you struggle with remembering your passwords, we recommend using a password management tool like Dashlane or Sticky Password. A password management tool is something that assists you with storing, recovering, or creating complex passwords. Storing your passwords in a password management system means storing them in an encrypted database. Encrypted databases are some of the most secure ways you can store complex passwords. After setting up a password management system you will create a master password, which acts as a key to unlock the vault where all your passwords will be stored.
The only downside to storing all of your passwords in a password management system is that if it were ever to get scythed, the perpetrator would have access to all of your passwords. However, the chances of someone being able to hack a password management tool is highly unlikely and the encryption used on top is the icing on the cake.
A popular way hackers will try to breach your account is by digging through old breach junkyards online, saving them and then attempting to use those logins and passwords on your current accounts. To avoid this from happening, make sure to manage or delete old passwords or accounts that you are not using any longer.
The future of digital security is definitely on the rise. Similar to the iPhone X’s new face recognition feature, eventually biometrics will be applied to nearly all forms of security. This will dramatically lower the chance of data breaches and hacks on your accounts. For those who are unaware, “biometrics is a way to measure a person’s bodily characteristics to confirm their identity. This includes physiological traits, such as fingerprints, face, eyes, etc.” Kim Porter, Norton Security Symantec.
To steadily protect yourself against data breaches and hacks, it is important to take the proper steps in protecting yourself, business, or family. Never create passwords that are related to something personal in your life such as your address, social security number, or phone number. Always create complex passwords that incorporate a phrase instead of just one word. Take advantage of potentially getting a password management system to protect all of your passwords. Always change your passwords every 90 days or sooner to keep hackers guessing, and don’t forget to pick something that you can easily remember.