Keeper. Top Five Password Security Tips

The most important tips for password security include choosing long, complex, unique passwords, not storing them in easy-to-hack places and using a password manager.

Unfortunately, most people don’t follow best practices for password security. According to Keeper Security’s 2023 Password Management Report, only 25% of people use strong, unique passwords for all of their accounts. That means 75% of people have insufficient password practices.

The report revealed that one in three people globally feels overwhelmed by password management. If you’re one of those people, read on to learn our top five tips for easy password security that will keep your accounts safe from cybercriminals.

Top Five Password Security Tips

Here are our top five password security tips.

1.Create randomized, long passwords

To create a strong password, you must avoid mistakes that will make your password easy to crack through common password-cracking techniques. Short passwords are easy for robots to crack in just seconds. Dictionary attacks can guess passwords that contain dictionary words. Targeted attacks may find personal information on your social media – like your dog’s name – and use it to guess your password.

Length is more important than complexity according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It will be harder to crack a 20-character password even if it uses dictionary words than a completely random 6-character password. But, creating a password with both length and complexity is the most secure.

Our free password generator can create a strong password for you in seconds. Generate a Password

Every password should have:

  • At least 12 characters
  • Upper and lowercase letters
  • Symbols
  • Numbers
  • No dictionary words
  • No personal data, such as birth year or pet name
  • No sequential numbers, such as 1234
  • No repeated numbers, such as 8888
  • No keyboard patterns, such as QWERTY

Example of a strong password (don’t use this one, it’s no longer secure because it’s public):

  • BMOu#L8xc8ijX,#m>uzf

Examples of weak passwords:

  • 7b>iCQ (too short)
  • Blue17Freed!Dry (has dictionary words)
  • KK8*K?Nr3456 (contains sequential numbers)

How to remember your passwords

Strong passwords are hard to remember, but you can make it easier by using mnemonic techniques, such as using the first letter of each word from a favorite quote with numbers and letters added in (“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” becomes “iwtBot%72#iwtwot”).

You could also use words with numbers and symbols instead of letters (“dog bone” becomes “D0G#!B0N398”).

The easiest way to remember passwords, however, is by using a password manager and storing them in a digital vault with zero-knowledge encryption. A password manager is software that securely stores your passwords and allows you to access them from any device.

2.Don’t reuse passwords

One of the most common ways passwords are compromised is through credential-stuffing attacks. This is when one set of credentials is stolen and a cybercriminal uses them to try to gain access to other accounts.

For example, if a data leak exposes your password to your email account, the cybercriminal could then try to use the same credentials to access your bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit card accounts and so on. However, if you used unique passwords for each of your accounts, then only one account will be compromised.

It’s important to note that cybercriminals often guess similar passwords in credential-stuffing attacks. For example, if the compromised password was weakpassword8, they may try weakpassword9. Choosing a password that you change slightly for every account is not an effective way to prevent hacking, even if it’s a long, complex password.

3.Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is an important additional security layer to passwords that protects your account in the case of a data breach. MFA is a second method of authentication you have to enter in addition to your password in order to access an account.

There are a variety of MFA options, including generating codes on an authentication app, getting a code by SMS text or answering security questions. Usually, accounts will give you the option to require MFA only if you are logging in on a device that is not your personal, primary device.

Data breaches are common, so it’s easy for one of your passwords to become compromised. However, if you have MFA enabled then it will be much more difficult for a cybercriminal with your stolen password to access your account.

4.Store and share your passwords securely

Going through the trouble of creating long, complex passwords for your accounts will not protect you if you don’t store them securely.

The days of keeping all your passwords in your phone notes and sending them to others via text are over. Documents, texts, email and other common locations to keep passwords are easily compromised by cybercriminals.

Technology has solved the problem of storing passwords securely with password managers. A  master password is the only password you need to remember to access all of your passwords.

How to store your master password

You should memorize your master password and not share it with anyone. If you absolutely must write it down somewhere, write it on a physical piece of paper and hide it in a safe or other highly secure location.

How to securely share passwords

Password managers will also make it easy to securely share your passwords – for example, if you want to share a Hulu password with your family, your password manager will be able to share it while keeping it safely encrypted.

Browser password managers

It’s important to note that secure password managers are not the same thing as browser password managers. Browser password managers are easy to hack and your passwords are not safely stored. We recommend disabling your browser password manager in your settings.

5.Automate everything with a password manager

A password manager like Keeper Password Manager simplifies password management while offering the highest level of security for all of your accounts. Password managers can:

  • Generate strong, unique passwords
  • Store passwords with the best encryption
  • Automatically fill in your credentials when you log in
  • Store 2FA codes so you don’t have to wrangle multiple devices while logging into an account
  • Securely store other types of information, like confidential files and ID photos
  • Scan the dark web for compromised passwords and alert you to change the affected credentials

Why Poor Password Management Puts You at Risk

Passwords are what stand between cybercriminals and your valuable, confidential data. Reusing passwords, using weak passwords and other bad habits will make it easy for a cybercriminal to hack you once you become a target.

If cybercriminals access your data, it could result in theft of money from your bank account, account takeover and even severe identity theft. These types of incidents are time-consuming and expensive to recover from.

Keep Your Accounts Protected

Using strategies for choosing strong passwords and storing them securely will keep your accounts protected. Keeper Password Manager is the simplest way to streamline your account security. Start a free 30-day trial today to see how we can protect your digital life.

Source: Keeper Security