We have so many passwords to keep up with for so many computers and accounts, that there is often the tendency to use the same one to make logging in easier on ourselves. Passwords are easier to remember when they are duplicated, but care should be taken because of security issues.
Systems will be hacked and there will be “bugs” — no system is perfect!
If you use the same username/password for multiple accounts, anyone who gains access to one, could also enter many others accessing your personal information. Unique passwords are the best way to safeguard yourself from the headache and problems caused when your information is compromised. When you create your accounts with unique username/password combinations, if one is compromised, it is likely the problem will stop there.
How to safeguard yourself
Since password “cracking” is faster and easier than ever before, be proactive and create passwords that are longer and more unique/random.
- Random Upper and Lower-Case Letters With Numbers: If you have a password using random upper and lower-case letters with numbers (such as Y7aefLKR), it will be much more secure. The longer the password, the longer it takes to crack – it would be wise to choose one with 12+ characters.Here are some test results on how long it takes to crack passwords of various lengths:
9 characters 2 minutes
10 characters 2 hours
11 characters 6 days
12 characters 1 year
13 characters 64 years
These test results may be alarming but there are ways to prevent or at least minimize attacks. Here’s an article with more on safe passwords from Microsoft:
Tips for creating a strong password
- Random Phrases/Random Words CombinedYou can use random phrases or even a string of random dictionary words combined for a highly secure password (such as polo + zither + 615 = polozither615). What you need is length combined with some form of padding that is easy to remember and also unique to only you.
What about saving those hard-to-remember passwords?
In “How to keep track of your passwords without going insane,” by Hayley Tsukayama, who covers consumer technology for The Washington Post, she listed several options for saving your passwords, along with the pros and cons of the various suggestions:
- Write them down
- Rely on a major company such as Facebook, Twitter or Google to log in
- Reset your password — every time
- Online password managers
- Isolate your information
Read more in The Washington Post article here.
With these things in mind, take some time to update your passwords, making your accounts safer! We hope this information will help encourage users to move toward more secure passwords.