Best password practices

Sometimes, it’s good to get back to the basics. Passwords are the cornerstone of every online account you have. Having a unique and complex password can make all the difference to your online security. There are a few best password practices you should be following. And if you’re not sure what those are, you’re in luck.

I’ve got a few password tips and tricks I want to share with you. Things that will hopefully make your online activity a little easier. But, at the very least, it will make all your online accounts just a bit more secure. So, keep reading!

Password security tips

Whether you’re reading this article for yourself or to try and figure out how to keep your company’s data more secure, there are a few password security tips that will protect you against common threats.

Don’t reuse passwords

This should be common sense. But just in case it’s not, there are password breaches all the time. So, in the event one of your accounts is compromised, using the same password means the hacker will now have access to all of your accounts. Do yourself a favor and mix it up – even if you’re just changing one character.

Find out if your password has been stolen

There are a ton of resources online that will let you check if one of your online accounts has been breached. If you’re an iOS or macOS user, there are native tools in Settings and System Preferences, respectively, that will also let you know.

This is a great tool to see if one of your passwords has been exposed, which makes it really easy to change your other accounts if you’re using the same password for them.

Always use two-factor

If any of your online accounts allow you to set up two-factor authentication, use it! Sure, it can be a nuisance and an extra step, but that additional precaution could save you from having all of your personal data exposed and leaked to the internet.

Avoid common words

Unfortunately, all too often, people use easy-to-remember and popular words as their passwords. But the problem is that so many people use them, and it makes your password less secure. So, if you can avoid popular words and common phrases, it will protect you in the long run.

Stay away from obvious passwords

There are a handful of common passwords that you might be surprised to learn a lot of people use. It happens because people think they’re being clever, but instead, they’re just repeating clichés. You’ll want to avoid passphrases that include things like “password,” “backspace,” and “1234.”

Password management best practices

Keeping those universal tips in mind, there are a handful of password best practices you can use to keep your personal accounts safe.

Write your passwords down

Keeping your passwords written down on a piece of paper is widely considered to be a bad thing. But if that is what keeps you from reusing the same password across all of your accounts, by all means, go for it. Password managers aren’t for everybody, so if you’d like to keep your passwords written down in a journal or a sticky note, just do it. But, please, don’t leave that sticky note stuck to your computer.

Don’t change them regularly

This is something new that’s been coming up in recent years. While many companies will make you change your password periodically, if this practice makes it too hard for you to remember, then you’re not doing anyone any favors. If you’re able to use a complex password of either or more characters, then just leave it alone. Don’t worry about changing it every 30 days.

Length over complexity

Again, many websites in the past have tried to push more complex passwords. But the truth of the matter is that a longer password can actually be more secure in many instances.

Best practices for password security for employees

For employees looking to improve their cybersecurity at work, most of what was mentioned above can have a pretty big impact on your work accounts, too. However, there are a few things you can do to cater specifically to your company accounts.

Use a password manager for employees

Having a password manager that will generate unique passcodes can make a huge difference in your online safety. Apps like 1Password will generate completely random passwords that are then stored. This works specifically with the intention that no one else has access to your passwords or would even try to figure one out.

Don’t use text codes for two-factor

Two-factor or multi-factor authentication can be a huge lifesaver for most people. But enabling a text or SMS two-factor could actually make things easier for a hacker. This is why most websites will require you to use an app like Google Authenticator instead.

Remember, there’s no such thing as being too safe when it comes to online security. There are bad actors lurking around the internet trying to find their next victim. The last thing you’d want to see is your private information floating around the web. Or worse, finding out you were responsible for a major cybersecurity breach at your company. Take these tips and tricks and see what steps you can take to strengthen your passwords.

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