Lock Down Your Login – Use A Passphrase
Passwords are the most common way we prove our identity in the digital world. We use passwords to access our work and home computers and email, online banking services, and social media accounts. If your passwords are not strong enough, you leave systems and data vulnerable to attack. In fact, compromised passwords are the leading cause of security breaches.
Cybercriminals have perfected the art of guessing passwords. Not only do they have technology on their side, but they’re also motivated. Think of all of the information that is protected by just your password. That’s why security experts recommend using a passphrase when creating a password.
A passphrase is a sentence-like string of words that is longer than a traditional password, easy to remember, and difficult to guess. A passphrase could be several meaningful but seemingly unrelated words such as Tailgate Varsity United Bulldogs. This has meaning to you and is easy to remember, but it would take years for a cybercriminal to guess, even with technology designed to guess and test potential passwords.
So, why use a passphrase? Compared to a simple password, a passphrase is much easier for you to remember and much harder for someone else to guess. When we create a password, we typically think of a single word that is significant to us. We have been taught that just adding special characters or numbers will make the password more secure, but that’s not necessarily the case. A password like Bulld0gz! takes a cybercriminal approximately 3 seconds to guess.
Here are some best practices when creating a strong passphrase:
— Pick a phrase or series of random words that are meaningful to you. Think of three things you like, for instance French fries football beach.
— Add uppercase and lowercase and a special character: French Fries Football Beach!
— Use different or abbreviated spellings of words: French Fries Futbol Beach!
— Don’t use a name or nickname of a pet or relative.
— Don’t use information easily obtained about you such as your address, telephone number, or hometown.
— Don’t use a commonly used password such as P@ssw0rd , qwerty , or 123456.
— Don’t use a password of all numbers, or a password composed of just alphabet characters.