In a world where so many of the websites, apps and services we love are still controlled by passwords and phrases, there’s a worrying trend of keeping things too simple. Given that we can now log in and access sensitive data such as banking from our phones, it surely makes sense to always make sure that our access words are hard to guess. But how many of us are actually doing that?
When it comes to our own services, we always advise on keeping things as secure as possible – but it’s high time you considered how secure you are actually making things.
What Makes a Password Secure?
It’s tempting to create a password that’s easy to remember. A pet’s name, your mother’s maiden name, throw in the last two digits of the year you were born – you’re not likely to forget those details. However, password security has moved on massively, and we’re largely being advised to create long strings of characters and symbols to build truly unique phrases.
Strong passwords, on the whole, are phrases and words which are going to be difficult to predict outright. We recommend that anyone using our services considers using a mix of the following:
- Upper and lower case characters (and not necessarily at the start of words)
- Symbols (valid keyboard entries such a £, %, & etc)
- A phrase of at least eight characters long
Strong, secure passwords should also have no link to your personal life, tastes or history. ‘fluffy77’ is going to be far easier for unwanted hackers to guess than ‘YG^&9&dxxC$34’! You don’t even have to make your password that complex – think of a phrase, and shorten it with numbers – or write words backwards!
Why Strong Passwords?
The advice to create passwords you’re likely to remember is getting very old indeed. There are several reputable password locker programs available online, many of which are offered by antivirus services. Safari, Apple’s landmark browser, outright creates complex passwords for you whenever you sign up for something new. If you can’t remember the strong phrases you create, use a secure program or app to help store them.
All in all, strong passwords are here to help you. With hacking and intrusion growing ever more sophisticated, is it really worth still clinging onto that maiden name, or your favourite football team? Prevention is far greater than the cure – lock up safe with a secure set of passwords with little to no chance of intrusion.