By Sarah Fichter

Today, passwords are the first line of defense in protecting online information. Whether a password for your phone, email, computer, social media, occupation or simply for a video game, having a password gives people comfort in knowing their information is safe from hackers. Unfortunately, hacking into one’s password is easier than people might think. That is why it is crucial to know the best possible methods to create a safe password and to know the signs of when a hacker might attempt to steal your information.

Creating a Password

The most common way to have a person’s information stolen online is for a hacker to guess an account password. Understandably, memorizing multiple passwords can be difficult for people, but it is important to understand that using the same password is extremely dangerous. If a hacker guesses your password for something, the hacker will likely try that password for all of your information.

Here are five quick, helpful tips to create stronger passwords.

  1. Make sure your password is at least eight characters long because the longer the password, the more difficult it is for a hacker to guess it.
  2. Do not use your pet’s name, street name, birthday, kids’ names, 12345, the word password or school names. According to Insider, “security firm Keeper trawled through ten million records that leaked in 2016 and found that a shocking 17% of people used the basic, insecure password 123456.” Having an easy-to-remember and common password puts you at an elevated risk of having your information stolen.
  3. Think about using a password manager. Lastpass was recently voted one of the best websites to use when creating a strong and reliable password.
  4. If the option is available, make sure you set up security questions. It is also important to choose questions that only you would be able to answer.
  5. Stop resetting your password every 60-90 days. Unless you think your password has been compromised, Microsoft says, “password expiration requirements do more harm than good, because these requirements make users select predictable passwords, composed of sequential words and numbers that are closely related to each other.”  

It is one of the worst feelings to have your personal information stolen. It causes a person to feel vulnerable and unable to trust certain software.

Make sure you are in control, not the hackers! Following these helpful tips will make you feel more confident that you and your information are safe online. Contact Trustpoint Insurance & Real Estate for more information on commercial cyber insurance options.