Too many internet users still aren’t doing enough to protect their online accounts and data by using passwords that are too easy to hack.
However, it’s essential to choose complex passwords and to renew them regularly. Here’s a quick reminder of some password basics.
Forget using names and birthdates Experts recommended not using passwords that are too simple, like your first name or your child’s name, the name of your pet, your date of birth or sequences of numbers or letters such as “123456” or “qwerty,” which are often thought to be the world’s most-used passwords (source: SplashData).
Another bad habit is reusing the same password for several services, or simply changing one character. Whereas, in reality, the first thing a hacker will do is precisely to try their luck with the password they just stole on several other platforms. Generally speaking, it is also advisable to change your passwords every three months.
Use a mnemonic to help you choose a secure password The best solution for creating, but also remembering, a complex password ― composed of numbers, letters and even special characters ― is to use a mnemonic. That involves using the first letters of each word in a sentence or a song title, for example. Remember to repeat the operation for each new online service, as each password must be unique.
Whenever possible, you should also use two-factor authentication, especially for your most important accounts (email, social networks, etc.). This means that accessing your account requires an additional validation, often by SMS, email or a dedicated application. This technique also allows users to be notified in the event of suspicious log-in attempts.