I Hope Your Password Is Better Than 123456
I hope your password is better than 123456
If you are using 123456 as your password for any of your online accounts, you are not alone. According to a study by NordPass, 123456 was the most common password of 2022, used by more than 2.5 million users. However, you are also putting yourself at a huge risk of being hacked, as this password can be cracked in less than a second by any brute-force attack.
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Password security is one of the most important aspects of keeping your online accounts and personal information safe from cybercriminals. A weak password can expose you to identity theft, fraud, ransomware, phishing, and other cyberattacks that can cause serious damage to your finances, reputation, and privacy.
So how can you create a strong password that will protect your online accounts? Here are some tips from experts and sources that can help you improve your password security:
Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. A strong password should include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters, such as !@#$%^&*. This makes the password more complex and harder to guess or crack by hackers. For example, instead of using "password" as your password, you could use "P@ssw0rd!"
Make your password long. A longer password is more secure than a shorter one, as it increases the number of possible combinations that a hacker would have to try to break it. A good rule of thumb is to use at least 12 characters for your password, but 14 or more is better. For example, instead of using "iloveyou" as your password, you could use "IL0veY0uS0Much!"
Avoid using personal information or common words. Your password should not contain any information that can be easily found out by someone who knows you or by looking at your social media profiles, such as your name, birthday, address, phone number, pet name, favorite movie, etc. You should also avoid using words that can be found in a dictionary or the name of a person, character, product, or organization. Hackers use programs that can process every word in a dictionary or a list of common passwords to crack passwords. For example, instead of using "harrypotter" as your password, you could use "H@rryP0tt3r!"
Use a unique password for each account. You should never reuse the same password for different accounts, as this makes you vulnerable to credential stuffing attacks. This is when hackers use stolen passwords from one site to try to access other sites where you have an account, hoping that you have reused the same password. If you have trouble remembering multiple passwords, you can use a password manager to store and generate strong passwords for you. For example, Microsoft Edge has a built-in password manager that can remember and fill in your passwords for you.
Change your passwords regularly. You should update your passwords every few months or whenever you suspect that they may have been compromised by a data breach or a phishing scam. This way, you can prevent hackers from accessing your accounts with old or stolen passwords. You should also change your passwords immediately if you notice any suspicious activity on your accounts, such as unauthorized logins or transactions.
Enable multifactor authentication (MFA) whenever possible. MFA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring more than one type of credential to sign in. For example, besides entering your password, you may also have to enter a code sent to your phone or email, scan your fingerprint, or use an app. This makes it harder for hackers to access your accounts even if they have your password.
Password security is not something to be taken lightly. By following these tips and creating strong passwords for your online accounts, you can protect yourself from cyberattacks and enjoy a safer online experience.
[Password security + 10 password safety tips Norton]
[Create and use strong passwords - Microsoft Support]
[Best tips for password security TechRadar]