Having a strong password is a critical piece in making sure that your data stays protected online. As more people worked from home in 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic, cybercriminals were busy at their own work. Information from Threat Post inside SonicWall’s 2021 Cyber Threat Report showed mobile phishing had an increase of 37% that was attributed to the creation of remote workforces.
Which means it is now more important than ever to have a strong password to protect yourself from cybercriminals who are using a plethora of ways to steal your data. Working from home has a lot of advantages but some remote workers feel relaxed working from home which can lead to letting their guard down, which makes them extremely vulnerable to online threats.
In May, World Password Day is celebrated and in honor of the holiday and to help you keep your data secure, here are 3 tips on developing a strong password.
#1 Mix It Up
One key way to ensure a strong password is to NOT use something simple and obvious, but instead to have a random assortment of characters. This makes your password far less easy to guess or by an individual or a programmatic approach. There are many ways to mix up your password. They include combining a mix of alphabetical and numeric characters, mixing upper and lowercase letters, or by simply inserting symbols in the mix. Keeping your password as obscure as you can will help keep the cybercriminals at bay.
#2 Obscurity is Your Best Friend
While it may be easier to remember a password with a familiar item or term, unfortunately it can easily be decoded by hacking websites. Choosing an odd character, replacing a letter with a symbol, or a combination of characters as stated above can help. Try to think of it this way: if you create a password that is based on something you remember, it is likely easier for a cybercriminal to find out what you are using.
#3 Do Not Keep It Simple
Some will argue that having a simple password that is easy to remember so it is not forgotten is an advantage, but having a simple password actually gives hackers that advantage. They will be able to use a program that will easily decipher what your passcode is. One tip according to Boston University TechWeb to help you recall your password is to pick a phrase you will remember by picking all the first or last letters from each word and then substitute some letters with numbers and symbols. To see an example, visit their website here.
While the list is only the beginning to creating a strong password to keep your data protected, it should provide a good starting point. Cybercriminals have many ways to crack a password. That is why it is important (especially as remote workforces continue) to build a strong password that stops cybercriminals in their tracks. Just remember, it is never a good idea to use a password that is ‘1,2,3,4’!