With the proliferation of digital devices and online accounts, creating secure passwords and following best practices for password protocols is essential. Everyone should take steps to develop strong, secure passwords while also being mindful of how many passwords they are creating. Here are five best practices to help you establish secure password protocols.
1. Use a Unique Password For Each Account
Modern data analytics suggest that creating unique passwords for each account is one of the most essential best practices regarding password security. Using the same password across multiple accounts increases the risk of a data breach.
2. Don’t Reuse Passwords
People will inevitably forget their passwords sometimes. However, it’s inadvisable to reuse the same password when resetting or creating a new account. If someone has access to an older version of your password, using it again increases the risk of a data breach because hackers can access previous versions of your passwords if you’ve reused them on different accounts.
3. Keep Passwords Long and Complex
When creating a new password, try not to use common words or phrases, as these are easily guessed or found in dictionary attacks by malicious actors who use automated software programs explicitly designed for guessing credentials.
According to modern data analytics, the longer your password and the more complex it is, the more difficult it will be for someone else to guess or crack it with brute-force techniques.
4. Beware Of Phishing Attempts
Cybercriminals send phishing emails attempting to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by posing as legitimate organizations or companies via email. Therefore, don’t click on suspicious links in emails from unknown sources; never share personal information unless you’ve verified its legitimacy through another source.
5. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts by requiring an additional form of authentication beyond just entering a username and password—typically something like entering a code sent via text message or email after logging in successfully with your credentials.
Whenever possible, enable 2FA on all accounts. This will significantly reduce the chances of someone accessing your account without authorization, even if they have obtained your username/password combination through other means, such as phishing or brute force attacks against weakly secured systems.
6. Avoid Personal Information in Passwords
When creating passwords, avoid using personal information such as birthdays, addresses, phone numbers, etc., since hackers can easily guess this type of information (or found on social media profiles). Also, avoid words that people can see in the dictionary since automated programs hackers use can easily “guess” these common words used as passwords by users worldwide.
7. Change Your Passwords Regularly
Even if you follow all of the above steps, you must change your passwords regularly to avoid potential threats from hackers or malicious software programs designed specifically for stealing passwords and personal information.
Aim for changing your passwords at least once every six months, though more frequent changes may be necessary depending on the type of accounts you’re managing and how often others access them. You could potentially compromise security through negligence or malicious intent.
Establishing robust password protocols takes time, but it is worth it to protect yourself against potential data breaches. Ensure you follow these best practices whenever possible, including setting up multi-factor authentication wherever available to ensure maximum protection against potential cyber threats.