The more accounts we create, the more passwords we need, the more forgetful we get. We know how easy it is to stick with the same password for all your accounts but don’t do it- it’s a trap! Don’t cut the corners and take the easy way out. The Monkeys have gathered some tips for you to protect your passwords and inevitably your accounts.
- Length and Strength
You need to make sure your password is long and strong. A minimum of 8 characters is recommended with a mixture of letters (upper case and lower case), numbers, and symbols- if permitted. The more jumbled, the better. And more importantly, remember “Password1” is not a real password just because it meets the above qualifications.
- Unique New York
You want to make sure your password is as unique as you are. It is often recommended that your password does not contain words found in the English dictionary. You don’t want your password to be easily guessed- like your middle name + your birthday. Try something like S8k&n*klM or 4mF^s@.
- Security Questions
Security questions are often searchable, meaning, “what’s your mother’s maiden name?” A potential threat can easily search through a few links and photographs and find your mother’s maiden name is ‘Smith.’ Or, “what’s your favorite food?” You may have a whole album on Facebook dedicated to your favorite food. Try answering the security questions with lies or sarcasm, like ‘Brussel sprouts.’ No one will guess your security answer, but make sure you remember it.
- Have a different password for each account
We’ve learned the best passwords aren’t reused. Oftentimes, if someone can figure out your password to one account, they’ve figured out your password for all your accounts. Instead, try creating different passwords for different accounts. Make sure you don’t forget which password goes to which account (like I often do) by writing them down in a safe place and storing them away from your computer, or try out a password manager like LastPass or KeePass.
- Reset your passwords and recovery options
We recommend updating your passwords once a year, or twice a year if you feel needed. Make sure you also keep your recovery options updated be it security questions or email addresses. There’s nothing worse than being locked out of an account only to have your password reset email be sent to an email you no longer have access to. More common today, you can also add a phone number to your accounts. You can receive a quick text on how to reset your password.
Try putting your password into How Secure is My Password? Let us know how long it would take to crack your password after you use our tips in the comments below!