How to Create Unique Passwords For All Your Online Accounts

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How to Create Unique Passwords For All Your Online Accounts

Unique Password

Create Unique Passwords For All Your Online Accounts

You probably have more than one online account, and each account should have a unique password. That is a lot of passwords to remember.

However, the consequence of not using strong and unique passwords leaves you and your data vulnerable to cyber criminals.

Using the same password for all your online accounts is like using the same key for all your locked doors, if an attacker was able to get your key, he would have the ability to access everything you own.

If criminals get your password through phishing for example, they will try to get into your other online accounts.

If you only use one password for all accounts, they can get into all your accounts, steal or erase all your data, or decide to impersonate you.

We use so many online accounts that need passwords that becomes too much to remember. One solution to avoid reusing passwords or using weak passwords is to use a password manager.

A password manager stores and encrypts all of your different and complex passwords. The manager can then help you to log into your online accounts automatically.

You only need to remember your master password to access the password manager and manage all of your accounts and passwords.

Tips for choosing a good password:

  • Do not use dictionary words or names in any languages.
  • Do not use common misspellings of dictionary words.
  • Do not use computer names or account names.
  • If possible use special characters, such as ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ).
  • Use a password with eight or more characters.

Use Passphrase Rather Than a Password

To prevent unauthorized physical access to your computing devices, use passphrases, rather than passwords.

It is easier to create a long passphrase than a password, because it is generally in the form of a sentence rather than a word.

The longer length makes passphrases less vulnerable to dictionary or brute force attacks.

Furthermore, a passphrase maybe easier to remember, especially if you are required to change your password frequently.

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Tips in choosing a good passphrase:

  • Choose a meaningful statement to you.
  • Add special characters, such as ! @ # $ % ^ & * ( ).
  • The longer the password the better. 8 characters minimum in length and 63 characters maximum.
  • Avoid common or famous statements, for example, lyrics from a popular song.

Recently, United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) published improved password requirements.

NIST standards are intended for government application but can also serve  as a standard for others as well.

The new guidelines aim to provide better user experience and put the burden of user verification on the providers.

Summary of the new guidelines:

  • 8 characters minimum in length, but no more than 64 characters.
  • No common, easily guessed passwords, such as password, abc123.
  • There is no composition rules, such as having to include lowercase and uppercase letters and numbers.
  • Improve typing accuracy by allowing the user to see the password while typing.
  • All printing characters and spaces are allowed.
  • No password hints.
  • No periodical or arbitrary password expiration.
  • No knowledge-based authentication, such as information from shared secret questions, marketing data, transaction history.

Conclusion

Even we think access to our computers and networking devices are secured, it is also important to monitor our accounts and our networks frequently.

Because, at times, when we are hacked, we don’t even know.

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OYAKHILOME OGBETA

Oyakhilome Ogbeta is a web developer and networking engineer. Oyakhilome has more than six years' experience in networking. Oyakhilome has a proven track record in networking/web applications deployment.

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