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It's World Password Day, which is a great day to review your passwords and make sure they're strong. Your password is all that stands between you and the ability for a hacker to access your personal data. Here are some tips to make sure you're doing what's needed to protect yourself or you company's data.
1. Enable two-factor or multi-factor authentication (MFA). In today's cyber landscape, this may prove to be the most critical as even if you password is cracked, you'll be alerted and know if someone else is trying to gain access to one of your accounts. Most people that aren't using this, think it'll be a pain, but in reality it's easy and could save you from A LOT of headache.
2. Use long passwords. Many companies and people are beginning to use passphrases instead of a typical one word password. The longer your password is the longer it will take to crack.
3. Include a combination of characters. Hopefully the days of using Password123 are over, but I know it's not. It's always good practice to use upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters together. Try and avoid sequential numbers or keyboard paths (i.e. qwerty) and single words.
4. Avoid using personal information. Do not use obvious details about yourself like a nickname, where you live, or birth date. Instead, try creating a phrase that makes no sense at all. This also goes for any security questions you may answer - don't provide answers that someone could find on the internet.
5. Change your password periodically and don't reuse old ones. I know, we all have too many passwords to remember, so this one can be tough, but it also makes you more secure. Look at item #6 to help out.
6. Start using a password manager. These tools allow you to auto generate a strong password and store them, so you don't have to remember all of them. Just make sure you keep it updated!
7. Don't share your password with others. Sticky notes and password lists under your keyboard come into play here. Again, find a password management tool or if you save them in a secure, encrypted file on a computer, use a random name as the title.
Hope these help! Stay safe out there!