Best ‘password practices’ you need in the online era

Most online users are guilty of creating bad passwords simply for the ease of remembering them. In the internet era, everything from email communication to banking is online and under the eyes of malicious hackers and criminals every day.

The hackers’ goal is not constricted to getting into bank accounts and emails but also to lock the data in computers and servers to threaten or erase sensitive data in exchange for millions of dollars. Therefore, having strong passwords is no longer optional, but it’s a necessity.

The basic password framework known to all users across the internet comprises the following:

  • At least eight characters long with a combination of upper case, lowercase letters, at least one special character, and numeral.
  • Not to be a basic word found in the dictionary.
  • Not the information publicly available like date of birth, characters of the name.

Given the above criteria for password creation, the question is, how can a user make their passwords complex? Some of the few ways of making complex passwords are:

Keyboard pattern

Choose a direction – clockwise/counterclockwise, up/ down and left/right, how many characters you will keep your “Shift” key pressed, and finally pick two random numbers or integers that you can remember.

It’s harder to hack because the person creating the password himself would find difficulty remembering it without a keyboard in front of them.

Phrase words

Pick a phrase that you can remember “Quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”
Using the first letter of each of the words or a combination of words creates a password.
For example, “Quick%#BrownFox.” Top it up with some numbers “8Quick%#BrownFox9.”

Compound words

Use two or more unrelated words. For example, choose a word from animals and others from the name of the authors. Add special characters and numbers to the combined words.
Example: Combine “PIG” and “HarryPotter” to get “Pig*!%Harry20Potter34.”

2-factor authentication

2-factor authentication requires you to use mobile numbers to generate a random sequence of numbers in addition to your password. Enabling 2-factor authentication adds up an extra layer of security for authentication. Thereby, the users have control over access to their accounts.

Email, social media, cloud services, and banks offer to enable 2-factor authentication.

Password generator

Password generator tools are available to generate complex passwords to specified lengths. One of the drawbacks of using these passwords is they are too complex to remember such that it has to be logged somewhere for further usage.

Image courtesy of Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock

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