How to Create Secure Passwords
We are all guilty of creating passwords that we can remember. Often picking children’s names, pet’s names, special places or dates. Some people even repeat their user name or use the word ‘password’. All these options leave you very vulnerable in today’s online society.
Whilst a few years ago, these may have been good enough (although I would question repeating your name or the word password ever was), today it is not. Protecting your identity, business and money is a necessity. It’s how you keep your personal information safe and avoid having your online security compromised.
Most online crime is automated. It isn’t likely you will be targeted as an individual but it will certainly feel personal. You will be the victim.
Imagine the hassle of trying to get everything sorted out. All those passwords that will need updating and changing – the mere thought sends a shiver down my spine!
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following, your password security is not good enough:
- Do you use personal information such as names, places, dates or the word ‘password’?
- Can you remember your passwords?
- Do you use the same password on a number of different websites?
- Do you have a set pattern that you use to create passwords?
- Are your passwords under eight characters in length?
What makes a strong password?
Follow these rules to make your passwords strong:
- Each website should have its own unique password
- Make the passwords 12 digits long
- Include a mixture of different letters and characters:
- Capital letters
- Small letters
- Special characters like #£!%&
Just the thought of trying to administer and manage this manually is overwhelming. Fortunately, there is a solution which many of the top internet marketers have adopted and it’s free – LastPass!
You can upgrade your account to a paid version to include mobile devices and access for your team. Why not start with the free version – that’s the one I currently use, have done for a few years and it’s been brilliant!
You create one master password to what they call your ‘vault’. All your other passwords are encrypted and stored there. You don’t have to worry about remembering lots of different passwords and you can update all of your old ones to be super strong and individual.
I decided to set up my account when I realised I how much time I was wasting trying to remember and enter passwords. I estimate I’m saving myself at least 15 minutes a day, so over 5 hours per month to do something productive or fun! It is well worth the initial effort and a brilliant efficiency tool.
At first it was a daunting task but I set myself aside a couple of hours and just got started. It really didn’t take long to get the hang of it once I applied myself. Once I had set up my initial passwords, I just added others as I went along.
Start off by downloading the software and setting up your account. The software sits on your browser. Anytime you go to a new website for LastPass and add your name and password, it asks you if you want it saved in your vault.
There are tutorial videos that take a couple of minutes to watch but will get you steaming ahead with the task in hand. LastPass will also offer you the option of creating brand new, random, strong passwords so you don’t have to think about them, making that easy for you too.
Add the websites you use most often and those that have the most vulnerable passwords. Start to add more as you go – not everything has to be done all at once.
Once you have signed up to the service, LastPass will send you emails to show you how to use other features such as secure notes and filling in forms so you can make the most of their features at your own speed.
Sign up for your free LastPass account here. (Affiliate link)
It is your responsibility to do what you can to protect yourself so start today by taking action and make your online passwords secure. Even if you decide LastPass isn’t for you at the moment, use the ideas on what makes a strong password as a guide to improve the security of your online activities.