When it comes to password security, there’s no such thing as being too careful. In today’s world of online threats, hackers are constantly looking for ways to steal sensitive information – and weak passwords are one of the easiest targets.
Downloading files from untrustworthy sources and even opening phishing emails can all compromise your passwords. Once a hacker has your password, they can easily access your personal information and financial accounts and even use your data for malicious purposes.
While public WiFi can be a great convenience, it’s also important to be aware of the dangers that come with using it. Hackers can easily set up fake WiFi networks that look legitimate, and unsuspecting users may connect to these networks without realizing the risks.
Once connected, hackers can then intercept the data being sent and received by the user. This can include sensitive information like passwords, credit card numbers, and personal details.
So what can be done to protect yourself?
First of all, ensure your password is strong one. The most common passwords worldwide are weak because they are very predictable. In fact, the most common password in the world is “123456,” which is incredibly weak and easy for anyone to guess. Other examples of weak passwords include: “password”, “qwerty”, “111111”, and “abc123”.
There are many reasons why using weak passwords is a bad idea. For one, they make it easy for hackers to access your account. If your password is weak, it can be easily guessed, or brute forced, allowing someone to gain access to your account and any sensitive information it contains. Additionally, weak passwords are often re-used across multiple accounts. The average person has the same password for six different websites or platforms – this means that if one account is compromised, all other accounts are at risk.
That’s why it’s so important to create strong passwords that are difficult to guess—the longer and more complex the password, the better. A good rule of thumb is to use a minimum of eight characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
And while it may be tempting to use the same password for all your online accounts, this is also a significant security risk. If a hacker manages to guess or steal your password for one account, they will then have access to all of your other accounts.
Instead, using a different password for each online account is best. You can use a password manager to help keep track of all your different passwords.
How can we improve our password habits?
There are a few things we can do to improve our password habits:
- Use a minimum of eight characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
- Ensure your password meets NIST password standards and requirements
- Avoid consecutive keyword combinations
- Use a different password for each of your online accounts
- Be aware of the dangers of using public WiFi and take precautions accordingly
- Avoid using easily guessed words like your name or birthdate
- Change your password regularly
- Avoid sharing your password with other people
- Don’t keep all your passwords stored in an unprotected document; instead, use a password manager
- Only connect to trusted WiFi networks. If you’re unsure whether a network is safe, err on the side of caution and don’t connect.
- Use a VPN when connecting to public WiFi. A VPN encrypts the sent and received data, making it much more difficult for hackers to intercept and steal.
According to the University of Ottawa, never allow your browser to remember your passwords; always log off and sign out after using a device and look around to make sure no one is watching you while you enter your password.
The importance of healthy passwords habits
Healthy passwords cannot be understated. By taking a few simple precautions, we can help keep our online accounts safe and secure. Remember to use a strong password, use different passwords for different accounts, and be aware of the dangers of public WiFi.
Creating a strong password and improving your password habits is just one part of keeping your account safe. If you think your password has been compromised, change it immediately.
Follow the simple tips in this article, and create strong passwords that will help keep your online accounts safe and secure.