Passwords are crucial to protecting your personal data. This is why more and more websites are requiring complex passwords for users -- less of a chance of your account getting hacked.
- Keep passwords unique. Although it might be tempting on your memory to reuse the same password for all your accounts, it is actually dangerous. If someone gets ahold of one account’s password, they will now have access to all your accounts.
- Don’t share your passwords with anyone.
- Stay away from your name, address, or other easy to find information as your password.
- Use variety. Throw some uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols in there.
- When using variety, common phrases can save you. Here’s an example.
Start with a phrase: fourth of july
Then change letters to numbers/symbols: 4thofjuly, 4th0fjuly, 4th0fju1y
The more you can change, the harder to hack it will be: 4t#0fJu1y
Some common letters to symbols/numbers are:
a = @, e = 3, h = #, i = !, l = 1, o = 0, s = $, t = +
- Don’t type your password when prompted if you’re unsure of the reason why in anyway. This would be the equivalent of giving the keys to your house to a random person on the street and trusting them to use them for the right reasons, they won’t.
- iOS and MacOS can generate passwords extremely strong and random passwords for you. These will be hard to remember so you might use iCloud keychain or a password manager to back them up.
There are helpful password manager applications that allow you to keep your passwords safe and organized. CNET lists their votes for best password managers for 2019. These include:
- 1Password. This is a personal favorite. It is reliable and easy to share among a company/organization if necessary.
All of these options are compatible on Mac and iOS. Some offer free trials and most of them run on yearly subscriptions under $40.