We get it, we really do! The password situation is getting crazy. It’s 2021, and while we have many conveniences from technology in relation to security (we can even see who’s at our door without getting up!) we are STILL dealing with complex password security requirements. As a result, we have many different passwords with different requirements – including having to change them so often! 🙄 We feel your pain – we are dealing with this, too. It is for GOOD reason, though. Password security is vitally important.
Is password security really necessary?
There are hackers all over the world trying to guess passwords right now. They have sophisticated software and continually improve their skills every day. If you want your data secure, you must beat them, and by making strong passwords you CAN! It may seem like a pain and a huge inconvenience, but we have some ways to achieve optimal password security that will make it easier to create the perfect password.
Password security: weak vs strong
Let’s talk about weak vs. strong passwords. Weak passwords use familiar or easy-to-guess words & numbers that include fewer than 10 characters. Even using a combination of upper and lowercase letters can still be guessed if the word is common and too short. Many people create these because they are easy for them to remember (we know, there are so many to keep up with!! 😑). But this is not the best for password security. In contrast, a strong password uses a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. When this combination is used, passwords are built more randomly and are typically longer in length. Consequently, the password security is ideal. One quick and easy way to accomplish this is instead of using just a word for your password, use a phrase. 😎 Passphrases can be easy to remember just like a word, but they are much harder to guess.
Two examples to of optimal password security:
Say for instance, because you love Asheville, you choose the phrase ‘mountain life for me’. By making some simple adjustments, you can meet all those pesky requirements to ensure strong password security. Like this, for example: M0unta!nLife4Me. Here we’ve capitalized both M’s and the L, changed the letter o to the number 0, replaced the word for with the number 4, and replaced the first i with an exclamation point! Not only is this still easy to remember, but it is also EXTREMELY secure!
Another way to change up a phrase for greater password security is to not use the phrase at all. Instead, just use the first letter of each word in the phrase. Take for example the phrase ‘a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away’. You could use Alta70iagF,Fa as your new passphrase. Capitalize a few letters, throw in a couple of numbers (birth year, maybe?) and a special character, and voilà! You have achieved ultimate password security, by creating something almost impossible for hackers to guess. Also, this is not a password you will likely forget!
When you are prompted to change your password (sometimes it’s every 30 days! 😮) you can simply add either a character or a new number… easy-peasy!
Password Management Programs
Something else to consider and what we highly recommend is using a password management program. We at The Tech Frood are quite familiar with many of them and honestly, we couldn’t function without one! For help in selecting the right program for you, or for help with password security in general, reach out to us. We are always happy to provide recommendations and advice!
In the end, remember… long and complex passphrases are your friend, and they make your data MUCH MORE secure! 😉