Today, most accounts or items with personal information are protected by a password. This ranges from social media to bank accounts and even phones.
In recent years, the amount of news of hackings that revealed passwords to thieves or other parties was alarming. Facebook users were attacked when two million passwords were taken this past December.
This brings users the question of how to create a strong password to keep their information safe. While there are many tips to making passwords, often times systems or websites will already aid users.
This is done by requiring users to create a password with a minimum number of characters and possibly a number and symbol in order for the account to be accepted. Generally, the more complex a password is, the safer an account is, so these are good starting guidelines. Furthermore, Microsoft offers users many useful tips about passwords.
They suggest a minimum length of eight characters, using symbols, numbers and a mix of upper and lower case letters. Also, change passwords every six months, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts and don’t share them with anyone.
In addition, when creating a password, it’s best to not use words or phrases many other people know the creator uses often.
However, if a user does decide to create a password using a known word or phrase, there are ways to still make it secure. By substituting characters for letters, alternating upper and lower case letters or even spelling the word backwards, the password will be strong.
Users can also often test password strength while setting up their account, or by using another source such as The Password Meter. These will tell individuals whether or not they’re in need of an updated password by showing the strength of the current password.
A final tip would be to always have a way to reset passwords. Most account types will send an email to either a backup account or the one registered. Take advantage of this option if a password is forgotten or changed without the user’s knowledge.
With the advances in technology, making a password isn’t as simple as many thought; it may take both time and creativity.
“Keep them unique,” Running Start student Ian Walsh said. “The more individual they are, the safer accounts become.”
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