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From Passwords to Passphrases

One of the best ways to protect yourself from falling victim to a password hacker is by creating complex and secure passwords. Lately, security teams are moving more toward referring to passwords as “passphrases” as longer is better when it comes to crafting login information. Follow these tips to prevent your account from being hacked.

  • Create different passphrases for each log in. Although it may be tempting to use the same passphrase for every account for memory purposes, it’s safer to use a different passphrase for each account whether it’s Facebook, your banking app or a computer log in.
  • Keep passphrases in a secure place. This means that you should not house all of your information in the “Notes” app on your phone or on a Word document saved to your desktop. Although this may be convenient, it’s extremely risky.
  • Don’t choose “Remember my password.” Never allow your device or app to remember your password or passphrase. Also, be sure to frequently clear your internet browsing history so your computer can’t “remember” your information from the last time you logged into a website.
  • Use passphrases that aren’t easy to guess. Your last name and the year you were born is a very obvious password. Try combining letters and words that are harder to guess. For example, combining the first four digits of your social with the last four letters of the street you grew up on creates a harder passphrase for someone to guess.
  • Longer = Better. Complexity is important when creating a pass phrase, but it’s more important to have a longer passphrase. The longer the passphrase, the longer it will take a hacker to break into your account. Using a song lyric from your favorite song or a line from your favorite poem will help you begin crafting a passphrase that will be easy for you to remember but difficult for fraudsters to crack.
  • Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Once you’ve decided on the letters/words and numbers you’d like to use for a passphrase, mix upper and lowercase letters and be sure to include special characters. Using a dollar sign instead of an “S” or a zero instead of the letter “O” are both easy ways to complicate your login information. A strong passphrase is at least twelve characters with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Enable touch password. One of the most important tips is to make your password unique to you, and what better way to do that than using your fingerprint to unlock an account?
  • Change your passwords and passphrases frequently. It’s best to change your passwords and passphrases often, even if it means having to constantly remember new ones. Best practice is to craft a new passphrase every time an account reminds you that yours will soon expire, as opposed to using the same login information over and over again.
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