Password security has been a big concern in 2015, and for good reason.
- Always use complex passwords. Many websites allow users to pick simple passwords that are very easy to hack. Use a series of letters, numbers and even special characters if allowed. For example, if you want to use an address, capitalize some letters and randomly replace letters with numbers and special characters. In this way, 1011 Oak Tree Lane can become IOII 0@k Tr33 L@n3. The new password is both virtually unbreakable and easily memorable.
- Pay attention to the password strength ratings provided by websites. Due to various encryption keys, some passwords may have a higher security rating on some sites and a lower rating on others. While a “strong” security rating usually means that it would take a state-of-the-art computer more than a year to crack that password, a “weak” rating normally means it would take less than a day.
- Never use the same password more than once. Most websites default to your email address as your user ID. Consequently, if someone knows your email address, they already have half of the combination required to break into a number of your accounts.
- Finally, write down your passwords and store them in a secure and easily accessible place like your computer, which has its own password. If you choose to write your passwords down on paper, lock them in a file cabinet.
Still, creating a strong password won’t be enough if you fail to take security measures when connecting to free public Wi-Fi networks. Sensitive data can easily be intercepted by anyone else nearby. To ensure a more secure connection, subscribe to a VPN service that will encrypt your data and provide a high level of security on open networks.