A password acts as a shield to protect all your private and sensitive data. A password will either grant or deny a user access to information, the user trying to gain access will be required to provide authentication in the form of a password, this is what will protect you from cybercriminals.
If the password were to be compromised, any secondary protection system is highly recommended. A strong password is highly recommended for all access that requires login credentials.
What is a safe and secure password?
The best and strongest password should be complex enough to prevent unauthorised access, yet memorable for the user to remember.
A safe and secure password should be:
- Long and memorable.
- Include special characters.
- Updated regularly.
Criteria for a strong password
- Create a long and memorable password.
Longer passwords are more secure than shorter ones because if there is a threat, cyber hack software will take longer to crack. Make your password a minimum of 8 - 10 characters long.
Use characters such as uppercase, lowercase, alphanumeric (letters and numbers), symbols and special characters in your password.
Use case letters (uppercase and lowercase) randomly in the password and substitute letters with symbols.
- Never use personal details.
Avoid using personal information like your name, birthday or address. These can be easy to guess.
Do not recycle passwords, the best practice is to change your password once a month with something new and not something you have used before.
- Keep your password private.
Do not enter your password when in public view, and don’t write it down and leave it lying around.
Use of a Password Manager
A password manager is a service or software the allows you to store passwords as well as generate random strong and encrypted passwords for multiple platforms. A password manager uses a Master Password to unlock all the generated passwords. This can be a useful tool if you have many passwords to remember and need to keep them safe.
Two-step verification and Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
These authentication methods are a very effective and secure method of securing your data.
A two-step verification is exactly what it sounds like; you will need to conduct two authorisation steps in order to be verified and grated access.
For example, you enter your user password, and an OTP (One-Time Pin) will be sent to your mobile number or email address, you will need to relay that OTP code to be allowed access. This method makes it unlikely to be hacked as two passwords must be entered and the OTP is randomly generated and sent from a separate source.
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) uses more than two steps to identify the user. The user is required to provide two or more verification factors as evidence to prove their identity. The evidence must be of different categories such as something you know, i.e.: password or pin, something you are (biometrics), i.e.: fingerprint or facial recognition or something you have in your possession, i.e.: tag or mobile device. MFA is an additional layer of security to protect very sensitive data.
Passwords are your first and most important step to securing your online activity.
Protect your data. If you would like to know How to avoid getting hacked, please read our Help Centre article for more security tips.