Four Rules to Keep Your Password Safe From Hackers

According to Pew Research Center, 64% of Americans have an online account involving health, financial or other sensitive data.  And most, if not all, require a password to protect this sensitive data.From using the same passwords for multiple accounts to using very weak passwords that lack uniqueness, users are setting themselves up for data theft. Weak passwords make it easy for hackers to use automated software to submit password guesses and attempt to log into your account. What can you do to prevent someone hacking your password? Here are four quick rules to help you create a secure password and prevent hacking.

Rule One

Password Key

Strong, Complex Passwords – Do not use words that can be found in the dictionary.  One of the most common mistakes people make with passwords is using easy to remember passwords.  Here are some things that you should NOT use when creating passwords:  Kids names, birthdays, consecutive numbers or letters on the keyboard, simple patterns, favorite teams, or anything that could be guessed from a social media profile.

Rule Two

Enable Multi- Factor Authentication.  If your account has this capability turn it on.  Most of the online services providers all support this and it is pretty simple to implement and use.  It is really the strongest type of security because it would require having your mobile phone to access the account.Multi-factor authentication is a second layer of security that requires an action.  For example, you can use an authenticator application like DUO or Microsoft Authenticator.  Simply install the application on your phone and when you log into your account you will be prompted to authenticate via the mobile device.  Just one more step to keep your password safe.

Rule Three

Use a password management app – LastPass is a frequently used password management application. LastPass is a great program that allows you to access your passwords via a simple log into your account, a web browser extension, or even an app on your phone.   It is cloud based so you have access anywhere you go. I suggest you allow LastPass to set your passwords with the “suggested” password.  This will ensure all passwords are unique and highly complex.  From the user standpoint you only have to remember one password – your master password for LastPass.  Let the application do the rest.  And don’t forget to enable Multi-Factor Authentication to give you another layer of security.

Rule Four

Forget password consistency.  Every online password should be unique. This will keep other online resources safe in the event your password to a specific site gets compromised. See rule three for the easiest way to manage this.

 

Think your password will pass the test? Use this great tool from LastPass to find out:  https://lastpass.com/howsecure.php

 

And if not… it is time to follow our four rules to ensure your password is not hacked.

 

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