Here’s a question: How do I make my passwords less hackable?
Ah, yes. Digital hygiene — the practice of beefing up your personal security to keep your digital life safe from those who want to hack into it or sell it to third parties.
How to make your passwords less hackable
First off, stop using common passwords. Here are a few notoriously bad passwords that are leaked and listed as being the least secure every year: 123456, password, 12345678 and qwerty.
Why are these bad? For starters, they’re easy to guess. And if they’re easy for the average user to guess, they’re likely even easier for a hacker to crack.
Words, phrases made up of words and even random-looking keyboard patterns — all not a good idea. Password-cracking software is really good at guessing these.
So the more unique the password, the better. Adding length and complexity — changing the case or adding numbers and symbols — will help make it harder to hack.
Occasionally, though, there can be data breaches that aren’t your fault. In 2015, on the week of Black Friday no less, Amazon reportedly forced some of its users to reset their passwords after a possible password breach.
Just think: If someone used the same username and password combination on a number of sites and the login information was breached, that’s not good for the user.
Which is why it’s important to have different passwords for all your logins. You can even go an extra step and change your passwords every so often.
Or you can use a password manager and let the application do all the memorizing for you.
If you use a tool like this, you’ll only need to remember one master password. The manager will create, remember and encrypt beefy passwords for all the accounts you add to the vault.
These types of managers are available for a lot of the gadgets people use: computers, tablets — even smartphones.