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How to create a secure password
In an increasing age of big brother and cybercriminals, your online identity is at risk of being compromised if you don't take the right precautions. In most cases, creating a secure password is your strongest ally and choosing a complex variation of characters to protect your most personal of data could just be enough to deter even the most determined of online hackers.
Have different passwords for different accounts
With our lives becoming dominated by an infinite amount of online accounts, it can be tempting to have just one password for everything. In fact, over 50% of the UK confesses to using the same log in across all the varying digital aspects of their lives, and this makes them particularly vulnerable to hackers. It effectively puts all of your information behind one door and discovering which password unlocks it means that a keyboard criminal has potential access to all of your data.
At the very least, having a different password for your email accounts is perhaps the most crucial. Someone gaining access to one of your sites can be inconvenient, but your email is a treasure trove of information so keeping these protected should be of the highest priority. Though an inconvenient test of memory, having an array of individual passwords will keep you more protected.
Size matters (so they say)
Unsurprisingly, the longer and more complex your password is, the harder it will be for people to guess. The stronger passwords are said to be at least eight characters long and any less than this can be easy for someone, or increasingly something, to hack. Increasing the length of a password will undoubtedly make it more difficult to remember, especially if you're creating a unique double digit password for all your accounts; however the longer it is, the safer it will prove to be.
Mix it up
When creating a new password, the majority of people will tend to choose a word which is personal to them. While using personal references such as names and places isn't advised, experts believe that you shouldn't use words at all. It's recommended that passwords contain a mixture of numbers, punctuation and upper and lower case letters. These can be difficult to remember, but leave some room to be creative. For instance, by incorporating different characters a password of 'manchester' could become 'M@nch3steR' and thus more difficult to crack.
Use a password generator
If you're feeling short on inspiration, you can always decide to use one of the many online password generators. Although maybe not the easiest to remember, generators such as securepasswordgenerator.net provide passwords that are secure and difficult for hackers to crack. These would perhaps prove more useful if you they were complemented by a secure password manager as to relieve the burden of having to memorise numerous randomly generated codes.
For most people, a password is for life, although it has long been considered best security practice to change your password every three or four months. Although not always necessary, it can prove to be a measure of damage limitation should someone get access to your accounts without your knowledge. Changing your passwords every now and again will limit the amount of time a hacker can potentially view your personal data if they have managed to unlock your information.
With retailers and social media sites forever the targets of identity thieves, it can really pay to create a secure password. While it's impossible to fully protect yourself, following the above advice should at least provide a real challenge for even the most experienced of online hackers.