Why Should You Use Strong Passwords?
It’s one of the easiest ways to greatly increase security.
Cybersecurity measures often can be seen as cumbersome and time-consuming. However, a strong password is one of the easiest ways to greatly increase security with minimal effort. We all work hard for our money. Think of how frustrated, upset, and mad (at yourself) you would be if you used an easy-to-guess password on banking accounts and then had money transferred out of those accounts by a nefarious third party. This is just one example of a situation where a strong password (along with multifactor authentication helps to significantly reduce the risk of someone breaching your account.
Risks of Weak Passwords
According to the 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), 81 percent of hacking-related breaches used stolen and weak passwords. This number illustrates just how common password-related breaches are and why it is so important to spend the little extra time it takes to create a strong password. Unsurprisingly, 73 percent of these breaches were financially motivated. The best practice is to use a different password for every account. This can seem like a lot, but at the very least, create a different password for each high-priority account, such as online banking.
Creating a Strong Password
The phrase “strong password” may sound intimidating, but it really doesn’t need to be. A strong password is complex, yes, but not so complex that even you would struggle to remember it. Here are some simple ways you can create a complex password:
- Use a passphrase of random words you can relate to; this will help you get to a longer password, making it harder to crack
- Mix in symbols to replace letters to help break up easily guessed words
Using a Password Manager
One last note on password protection: Stop putting them on display! We are all guilty of it at one time or another, but sticky notes and phone notepads are not safe places to store your passwords. Password managers, on the other hand, are a great option. Using a password manager will allow you to create complex passwords without having to remember each one. You will only need to remember the one master password to access the manager. That being said, be sure that the password you use for your password manager is a very strong one!
In summary, creating strong passwords takes minimal extra effort but can make a big difference in whether or not your accounts get breached. Take the time to secure your accounts now to save yourself a potentially huge headache in the future.
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