Tips to keep your password secure

Tips to keep your password secure

Today is the first Thursday of May and world password day. With remote working and teleworking becoming commonplace in the wake of COVID-19, the need for secure access could not be more critical.

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The average person has anywhere between 70 and 100 passwords, and it is simply not possible to remember them all.  Especially when you consider that passwords need to be unique, complex, and depending on where you read it anywhere between 8 and 20 characters.

When it comes to password hygiene, we still have a long way to go. 

Here are some tips you can do to keep your passwords secure, strong, and safe:

  1. Keep your passwords private – never share a password with anyone else.
  2. Never ever reuse a password (ever).
  3. Invest in a Password Manager Tool (start here
  4. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) when you can and where it makes sense.
  5. Use passwords of at least eight (8) characters or more (longer is better).
  6. Use a combination of uppercase letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters (for example: !, @, &, %, +) in all passwords.
  7. On the web, if you think your password may have been compromised, change it at once and then check your other website accounts for misuse.

Make your passwords hard to crack

If you are looking to create a create a strong, complex password, here’s a way to develop a strong password that’s very hard to crack:

  • Think of a phrase or sentence with at least eight words. It should be something easy for you to remember but hard for someone who knows you to guess. It could be a line from a favourite poem, story, movie, song lyric, or quotation you like. Example: "I Want To Put A Dent In The Universe"
  • Remove all but the first letter of each word in your phrase:  IWTPADITU
  • Replace several of the upper-case letters with lowercase ones, at random: iWtpADitU
  • Now substitute a number for at least one of the letters. (Here, we’ve changed the capital “I” to the numeral 1: iWtpAD1tU
  • Finally, use special characters ( $, &, +, !, @) to replace a letter or two -- preferably a letter that is repeated in the phrase. You can also add an extra character to the mix. (Here, we’ve replaced the “t” with “+”, and added an exclamation point at the end.) : iW+pAD1tU!”


Jacqueline Jayne is a Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4.

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