How to Manage Your Passwords Better

Image blog WebSelfThere appears to be more and more cases of phishing or identity theft. No one is safe from a hacker or a major data leak; however, there are some things you can do to better secure your accounts. One of these things is to have strong passwords. Is one of your New Year's resolutions to secure your accounts? Let's see how you can manage your passwords better.

What is a bad password?

Let's start by defining what a bad password is and what puts your online accounts at risk. First of all, we recommend not using the same password for every account, even if it is hard to figure out. All you need is a breach on one of the sites you use for hackers to have access to all your other accounts –given to them on a silver platter. Try to have a different password for each platform to increase your chances of not being an easy target. Therefore, if only one site is breached, the damage is less.

Also, we recommend not using a dictionary word as a password. Hackers can use software that allows them to quickly test all common words in a language. To increase the strength of your password, you can add numbers after the word, before the word or even better in the word. It is not advisable to use a place, date or your name with your year of birth. Another idea would be to write a word by intentionally misspelling it. Do you know which passwords are most used? According to TeamsID, 5 of last year's 10 most popular passwords are variations of 123456789. The word password and qwerty are also widely used. We strongly advise you to take a look at their list and change your passwords if they are there!

Did you know that it is possible to find out if a site where you have an account has been the victim of a data breach by going to sites like haveibeenpwned? We also suggest that you take a few minutes of your time to make the necessary checks and changes as needed.

What is a good password?

So, if you were able to get through everything explained above, a good password is unique and hard to figure out. You may have had to create a password with an uppercase, a lowercase, a number, a special character... How do you do this and remember it? A tip is to take a word and replace some letters with special characters. For example, the word sun in French, Soleil, (which is a password used by French-speaking internet users) could become $0le!l. Your password suddenly becomes much harder to figure out. Another trick would be to have the same word in different languages if you are bilingual. This could give you fun combinations like CatGato–gato being the word for cat in Spanish. However, avoid using the name of your pet or child. It is easy for hackers to figure out with a simple visit to your Facebook page.

Furthermore, the longer a password, the better. Try to use as many characters as possible. Sometimes spaces are considered a special character, so why not consider writing a complete sentence? You will then have a period and a capital letter, for example. There are 3 apple trees in my yard. Remember, no personal information should be used when creating a password. You can also use passwords that are the same at the beginning and change them for each platform, examples: CatGatoBeyoncé1 for your Spotify account and CatGatoPicasso2 account for your Pinterest account. In short, your imagination is your only limit.

Have All your Passwords in One Place

If you have multiple accounts, it can be difficult to remember each password. One solution is to use a password manager. There are several, including LassPass and Dashlane, which offer free packages. These tools store all your passwords for you and are considered secure. However, you will need to find a strong unique password to use these managers.

Otherwise, you may want to have a place where you have your passwords written down. In addition to helping you if you ever forget them, it can be very useful for your family if something happens to you. Why not write down on a sheet of paper your main passwords and keep it with your legal documents like your Will? This will definitely help the people close to you if anything were to happen.

In conclusion, yes it can seem complicated to manage all your passwords, however since it is your personal data, it is important to take care of it! We hope to have managed to give you some helpful solutions and tools to simplify this task. There is no better time than at the beginning of the year to organize your personal affairs!