Top tips on creating secure passwords

Strong passwords are among the most important tools in keeping your data safe.

For all the talk of cutting-edge security software and multi-tiered firewalls protecting your data, IT experts agree the best digital defences can be rendered useless if users’ passwords are not up to scratch.

Maintaining strong, unique passwords for all the services we use online can be difficult, but it has never been more important, which is why Penta has compiled these tips to help you create better passwords and keep them safe.

Complexity helps security

Passwords need to be memorable, which is why many people base them on the names of their partners, pets and siblings. But when doing this it is important users build a unique code around those names, says Penta Service Desk Manager Johan Blaix:


Penta Service Desk Manager Johan Blaix

“You can use the names of your children or pets but it is important to switch some letters out for numbers or combine it with another number which is unrelated to that child or pet.

“Most of the time any so-called brute-force attack is performed using a dictionary built around the user’s most used words, names and numbers retrieved from their publicly accessible information.”

Social media allows hackers to investigate their victims and potentially uncover key pieces of information which might be used in passwords, such as where they live or their siblings’ names. However, by combining several pieces of unrelated information while also using numbers and special characters, you can go a long way to making your password much harder to hack.

Mr Blaix says: “We tell clients to choose a password which is easy to remember, but one which no-one will already know or be able to easily retrieve. A couple of years ago when a lot of celebrities had personal pictures leaked it was not because their systems were hacked, rather it was because people guessed their very simple passwords by using information which was easily available online.”

Don’t change your password too frequently

This may sound counter-intuitive, but it is best to come up with a strong password and stick to it rather than changing it every few months. Users which regularly change their passwords often struggle to remember which one they are using, and this can lead to them noting their password down near their computer, or simplifying their password to make it easier to remember – both of which increases the risk of a security breach.

“We typically recommend users only change their passwords once every two years or so, but ensuring the password is really strong when they do so,” says Mr Blaix.

Keep your passwords secure

Cyber criminals have recently been sending users threatening emails including their passwords in the subject line to intimidate them as part of a scam.

Often these emails do not include the user’s current password, but receiving such an email is still likely to make them uncomfortable. This tactic is also likely to make people feel nervous if they change their passwords frequently.

“If users ever receive any email which claims to have their passwords it is really important they do not click on any links in that email and they do not reply to the email either,” says Blaix. Doing either will simply tell the hacker that they have intimidated you, making them more likely to continue to target you in the future.

Password problems

Celebrities exposed
Hollywood stars’ personal pictures leaked

The problem with ji32k7au4a83
Why this password is not as random as it looks

Related Posts