4 Tips for Creating Strong, Secure Passwords

We will never finish encouraging our clients, friends, and family to use strong, secure passwords. Why? Because either they don’t know the risks at all (not many) or they know the risks and still choose to maintain poor password practices.

A recent study performed by the cybersecurity company GoSecure finds that the most common attack vector is a weak password, followed by any account that is not protected by multi-factor authentication.

Here are 4 tips to make password creation easier.

1. Longer and Stronger: Shorter passwords are easier for hackers to break. NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, recommends that passwords be anywhere from 8 to 64 characters long.

2. Mix and match: Do you like mixing languages or making up your own words? If so, then you have an easy way to improve your password. If it only makes sense to you, it’s less likely to appear in the cracked lists of
passwords hackers use.

3. Ditch the digits: While your own organization’s rules may be
different, new federal guidance has advised that forcing users to include lots of symbols and numbers doesn’t necessarily increase password security. Focus on length and memorability instead.

4. Thinking in sentences: How do you remember a password that’s 64 characters long? Think in sentences, not words. A phrase or a sentence is easier to recall than a nonsensical combination of letters and numbers, and provides that all-important length to make it harder to crack.

Example using some Journey “Don’t Stop Believin” lyrics: jst4sm4llt0wngrl!lvnngn4l0nelyw0rld!!t00kth3mdnghttr4ng0ng4nwh3r3!!!_

Now that you’re creating long, strong passwords you will need a safe place to store them.

Secure Storage

  • Password manager that utilizes encryption and multi-factor authentication
  • Your head
  • An encrypted storage device in a locked safe

Insecure Storage

  • A paper notebook with the word “Passwords” on the front
  • An Excel spreadsheet
  • An email to yourself

We will never tire of stressing the importance of this topic to our clients, friends, and family. If you’re ready to implement the safest, most reliable password management across your organization, call us today at 504-372-1372.

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