Since it’s World Password Day, we thought we’d share a few tips on how to create stronger passwords! For your home, your business, or even your smartphone. Although we offer specific cybersecurity insurance, with hacker-proof login credentials you (hopefully) won’t need to use it. Just remember to:
Avoid the Obvious
That includes the ever-popular “password” password. Or fun options like “abc123” forward or backward. We don’t recommend incorporating your birthdate or social security number, either, for two main reasons. One, if you’re the victim of a targeted attack, then hackers will use everything they know about you in order to crack your password—including your birthday. Two, let’s say the hackers don’t currently have this personal information. Well, once they obtain your password, they also gain immediate access to more details they could use to steal your identity.
Create Unique Combinations
Unfortunately, simple substitutions don’t work as well as they once did. Hackers are well aware of common leetspeak alternatives that replace letters with numbers and special characters. For example, instead of using the traditional “password” option, you may change it to “p@s$w0rd.” While that’s slightly more difficult to crack, it’s definitely not foolproof.
Try creating long, unique combinations of words you know, mixed with lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Since some hackers use a dictionary approach that checks for every possible word, you can trick them by forming a string of words. Including names of people you know, places, and even historical figures. While it’s possible they’ll guess one, like Donovan, your cybersecurity drastically increases when you create a complex code like DonovanStP@ddyFormula1. Plus, it’s easier to remember if you pick a string of terms that have personal meaning.
Dodge Phishing Attempts
Of course, no matter how strong your passwords are, they don’t protect you against phishing attacks. Not familiar with this term? It’s when hackers try to trick or intimidate you into doing exactly what they want. Whether that’s providing your credit card information or your password. It comes in many forms, including those farfetched emails claiming you have a connection to royalty and several million dollars in foreign funds—if you’ll just give them your bank account details.
Unfortunately, some attempts are far more sophisticated. They may take you to dupe login screens that look just like your email interface, or your credit card home page. So, it’s especially important that you examine the URLs closely and rely on trusted sites to enter your password. Rather than untrustworthy links from spam emails. They may even use phone calls to obtain your passwords! We’ve seen some crazy things dealing with cybersecurity insurance and hackers are growing more creative every day.
Hopefully, you at least learned something new on World Password Day! Don’t forget to keep creating stronger passwords regularly to prevent your credentials from becoming compromised. When all else fails, contact Freedom Insurance Agency for more information on our cybersecurity insurance policies. As well as what we’re doing to protect our clients’ data.