We offer three tips on how to create safe passwords, improve your password management and reduce the risk of your passwords being cracked.
Do you keep using the same password on your logins? Or a few versions of the same password? A Google online security survey found that over half of respondents reuse their password for multiple accounts. We are probably all guilty of using the same passwords over numerous sites even though we know there are risks from doing so. Passwords are a weak link but they are often the first and last line of defence against hackers. You probably don’t leave your house without locking it up, so why would you leave your online information without locking that up properly?
Once you start looking at password security, you may well be horrified by how easy it is to crack passwords - and if you use the same or similar ones everywhere then it’s easy for hackers to get into all your accounts and cause maximum damage. Follow our three tips and improve your password management:
1. What passwords are harder to crack?
Simply put, longer passwords are harder to crack. Even looking at simple words, there’s a staggering difference in how long it is estimated that it would take a computer to crack a short one-word password compared to a longer three-word password:
You don’t have to be a Bletchley Park codebreaker to see that longer passwords are far safer from attackers! The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre recommends using three random words like ‘housemanshop’ or ‘catropetongue’ to create good passwords. Check out how secure different passwords might be.
2. Passwords that are more secure
Numbers and special characters make passwords far more secure and far less likely to be hacked, especially when combined with multiple words or random letters:
Even the shorter, but completely random nJ.Q66c>9nx_Qf% is estimated to take 400 billion years for a computer to crack!
But frankly, who’s going to remember things like this for the many different logins they have especially if you need to have a different password for every account?
3. Should I invest in a password manager app?
A password manager application (app) enables you to use one really good password which then opens a ‘safe’ that stores all your different and secure passwords so you don’t have to remember them all.
There are now several good password manager apps available - and they can work across all your computers, macs, phones and tablets. Here are some more great reasons to use a password manager app:
Password apps can make up complex passwords instantly - and remember them for you, so you don’t even have to type them in
You can securely share some passwords with colleagues or family members using separate ‘vaults’
Good apps will warn you whether any sites you use have been hacked, or whether any of your passwords have been listed by hackers on the ‘dark web’
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre recommends using password manager apps because it helps improve the quality and variety of passwords you and your team use.
This is a much better option than keeping a list of passwords in a spreadsheet or a notebook - just imagine what problems you’d have if that got lost or stolen!
There are several options for password manager app and we recommend one called Keeper.
Keeper includes all the benefits we have listed above and gives an office manager clear control over who can use each password. It’s also protected by ‘two-factor authentication’ which gives you even more security.
If you have questions about safely sharing team passwords and data protection, get in contact, we would be happy to help. Astrid customers can also get a 10% discount on a Keeper subscription – drop us a line to find out how.
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