Cyber Hygiene Tip #2 Use strong, secure passwords
Creating a strong password is an essential step to protecting yourself online. Using long and complex passwords is one of the easiest ways to defend yourself from cybercrime. No one is immune to cyber risk, but #BeCyberSmart and you can minimize your chances of an incident.
- Use a long passphrase. Use the longest password permissible. For example, you can use a passphrase such as favorite song, movie, quote or book; then add in some punctuation, numbers, and capitalization. You can also use spaces.
- Make passwords difficult to guess. Do not include personal information in your password such as your name or pets’ names. This information is often easy to find on social media, making it easier for cybercriminals to hack your accounts.
- Avoid using common words Substitute letters with numbers and punctuation marks or symbols. For example, @ can replace the letter “A” and an exclamation point (!) can replace the letters “I” or “L.”
- Keep passwords to yourself and never reuse. Every time you share or reuse a password, it chips away at your security by opening up more avenues in which it could be misused or stolen. Maintain different passwords for your work and private accounts.
How can you best remember all of the unique passwords for your accounts?
You can manage all of your passwords and check for security by using a password manager. As long as your password is strong, password managers can help keep help you view and change passwords for your accounts. Google’s Password Manager and Password Checkup functionality work especially well to not only save, manage, and recommend passwords, but also check and notify you of security risks on your login information.
- To get started, click here to access Google’s Password Manager. It will show you all of the passwords you currently have saved to Google. Once on the page, you’ll also want to click Check passwords under Password Checkup to see if any were compromised, how strong they are, and if you have used them more than once.
To help check the security of passwords as you enter them, you can also install Google’s Password Checkup Chrome extension.