password security

Take a moment to think about your password security – most of us only use one, maybe two combinations for everything, and consider how secure it really is. You might think that no one will ever guess what your password could possibly be, unless you’ve made one of these common mistakes:

  • Short – passwords shorter than six characters are a lot easier to guess than lengthier ones
  • Too simple – using entire words or numbers like birthdates, etc. are surprisingly easy to crack
  • Not unique – many of us use the same password, like ‘password’, for example
  • Writing passwords down – it’s easy to forget passwords but if you write them down, someone could easily discover your list if you’re not careful
  • Never changing your password – still using the same passwords you created back at the turn of the century? Bad idea!

Most of us aren’t as careful as we think we are when considering password security. As the recent warning from Dropbox (link to actual Dropbox press release or article if possible here) to change pre-2012 passwords was released last week, sometimes it can take years to realise just how much information has been stolen by hackers. Whilst you’re carrying on completely unaware that your password could be being shared online, and numerous accounts being hacked into.

So how can you create a secure password and keep your internet accounts safe?

Be totally random

One method is to grab your favourite book, pick a random page and sentence, and then use the first letter of each word. If the sentence was “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” then the password would be Tqbfjotld – which is unique, very random and difficult to guess!

Use the password reset feature

Another solution, which can be time consuming, is to generate a password reset every time you use a website. In this case, it’s only the email address that you need to remember and you can create a random password each time you click on the ‘reset password’ link. Although this is a good security measure, it can be slow receiving the reset emails to your email inbox.

Allow a Password Manager to do the hard work for you

Our recommended way of creating secure passwords is to use a Password Manager, such as 1Password (link to website). Password managers allow you to create completely random passwords and will save them for you in a protected ‘vault’. You just have to remember one ‘Master Password’ to be logged in to the software and access what you need.

An additional benefit of using a Password Manager is that the software can often be used across all internet connected devices – so even if you’re on your smartphone or tablet, you still have secure access to your passwords.

Whichever way you choose to create a secure password, make sure you change it fairly frequently (we recommend quarterly), and never share it with anyone. Just a few simple changes can keep you and your personal information safe from the hackers and scammers out there.

We hope you’ve found our guide to password security useful. If you need help setting up a Password Manager and synchronizing it across all devices, we’re currently offering a 20% discount if you quote ‘Password’ when you get in touch with us on 0800 389 6798.

Sign up below to join the Operum newsletter