By Anonymous High School Student
Is Your Password a Secret?
Passwords are a critical component in keeping your data safe online. From your social media accounts to your retirement plan, most all your data is safeguarded by these passwords. Do you use the same password for multiple accounts? How many of your passwords look similar to the list below?
If you answered yes to any of the past questions, maybe it’s time to make a change. The list above is composed of the most commonly used passwords of 2020, with most taking less than a second to crack.
Why is it so important to create strong passwords? Creating strong passwords is essential in keeping your data private and defending it from hackers.
How Can I Create a Strong Password
Now that you understand the importance of a strong password, how can you make one?
Here are some steps to help you create a strong password:
- Keep your passwords long: a minimum of six characters is recommended
- Include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols: use both uppercase and lowercase letters
- Never use personal information: this includes your name, birthday, pet, family member’s name, etc.
- Keep your passwords random: avoid using words that can be found in the dictionary
- Create a passphrase to help you remember your passwords: a passphrase is a random phrase you create where you add both uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers to help keep it strong (ex. Ir0nMan:lovesPi3)
With so many different password combinations, it may be difficult to keep track of them all. One safe way to keep track of your passwords is by using a password manager. Password managers are a great way to both manage and create safe passwords for your accounts.
Here are some of our recommended password managers:
- Keeper Password Manager and Digital Vault
- Password Boss
Now that you have created your password, what can you do to help keep your data safe if your password is breached?
Many accounts will allow you to establish two-factor authentication to ensure that even if your password is hacked, your data will remain private. Two-factor authentication is when you may only access the data in an account when two or more pieces of information are submitted (such as your password and the PIN a company texts you). This option is a great way to safeguard your data and is most often found under the account settings in security.
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