Even if your dog is your bff, we’re sorry to report that ScruffyFurEver is just not a secure password.
Why do I need a secure password?
Here’s what’s nutty about passwords: despite the copious amounts of data they protect, most of them aren’t secure at all. If the Equifax breach a few weeks ago wasn’t enough to convince you that you need a professional grade password, check out this article from our very own support team member, Alex, who explains the threats of the interweb out in layman’s terms.
Listen, I just don’t think I need this. I mean, my password is pretty good.
Doubt it. But it’s not your fault–everyone falls victim to the idea that their password is secure or their information is “off the grid.” However, it remains that case that the most popular one in the country is password. Followed closely by combinations of 1234, 12345, or even, my personal favorite, 111111. The thing is, facial recognition and thumb prints have lured us into a fall sense of security. And I know that when I create a password, I’m usually thinking about coworkers or phone thieves trying to manually enter the data in to unlock my devices. That’s not the case, though. Passwords are hacked from the inside with programs and scripts.
Yikes. You may be on to something. Tell me how to make a great password.
Glad you asked! Secure passwords appear to be entirely random, but you can create your own that only seems random to the untrained eye. To you, it will make perfect sense! And here’s how to do it.
- Choose a phrase you love. For the sake of this, we’ll use “Life’s short–eat dessert first.” You could use song lyrics, your life motto–any phrase will do.
- Shorten it to just the first letter of each: lsedf
- Add a character: lsedf$
- Swap a letter for a number: ls3df$
- Capitalize the first or last letter: lsedF$
- Optional: some people will use the same root for each account but tag the system onto the end. So for gmail, my password would be: ls3dF$Gma!
That covers passwords, but what about all of the online scams out there?
You’re right–staying secure online is about a lot more than passwords. And we’ve got info on that too. Next week, the final article in our series will hit on avoiding online scams and schemes and surf without fear. See you then!