A password has always been the best way to protect others from getting access to your information and personal data. Today, computers have become so powerful and complex, that a password needs to be compliant with a lot of rules and have a high complexity to stay secure. In this blog post, you will get six tips on how to get a strong and safe password and how to easily update- and remember it.
How do you get a strong and safe password?
1 – Choose a complex password that is hard to guess
A password should as a minimum contain 16 characters, but no more than 64. It should also contain a mix of numbers, upper- and lowercase letters and special signs like: !#@& that are often easy and good to use (it is not always possible to use all kinds of special signs).
2 – Make your password random and nonpersonal
Try to make your password as random and nonpersonal as possible. If your name is James Peterson and you were born in 1994, the password should NOT be JamesPeterson1994! This password might have a high score on a password service like https://howsecureismypassword.net/, but if the password is used for this email account: ”James.firstname.lastname@example.org”, the hackers/computers already know most of the password, and then you are almost as easy to hack as somebody using: ”QWERTY123”.
3 – Write your password as a long sentence
If you want to avoid getting caught, try to use longer sentences such as “Iliketoliveincopenhagenandbicycletowork84@“ – This sentence does not necessarily have anything to do with any information you can find online or that somebody with ease could find out about you. In this example, we state that we like to live in Copenhagen and bicycle to work between the hours 8-4.
A hacker or computer would have a hard time figuring this out, but you can still remember the password easily. And keep in mind – try not to use the same password at more than one place at a time.
4 – Change your password regularly
Let’s assume that by now you have made a strong and safe password. Now it’s time for you to implement some rules of your own, to be sure your password is continuously updated, and far more difficult to hack.
Most login-services on the B2B-market implemented security rules years ago, letting you know when it’s time to change the password. In most other online services though, there is no one else but yourself to remember this.
Change your password at least twice a year. Make a notification with a reminder in your calendar when it’s time. If you add an extra layer of security, by enabling 2-factor authentication, you can extend the period before you have to change the password again.
Tip: Enable 2-factor authentication if you do not want to change your passwords that often.
5 – Never use old passwords
Avoid going back to passwords you’ve used previously. Every new password must be entirely new.
This way your password is always changing, and by doing this simple action, you effectively remove all efforts any hacker has made to attack you since you last changed the password.
Imagine if you never changed your password on your mail-account. In all that time the hackers have only had that one password to break – and that never changed.
But if you change it now and then, they only have the time in between to break your password. That is why banks change their passwords daily – it makes it virtually impossible to break, thus rendering hacker-attacks useless to crack the passwords.
6 – Get help to remember your passwords
Now, the next challenge is to keep track of your passwords! For this, you can use a password manager. We recommend https://www.dashlane.com – it works across all platforms and has a solid reputation.
If you want to avoid password managers, you can also make a simple rule, where you just add a little bit of text every time or change some values. E.g., you add a number to the end of your password. Every time you change it, you just add one value to this number. That way you have a “map” of your password.
Tip: If you choose to write down your password, make sure to do it on a physical piece of paper, instead of writing a note on your smartphone or on your computer.