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World Password Day is the first Thursday of every May, and your IT support partner in Houston has gathered some tips from the event that will help you keep your network and personal information secure. Though passwords are the first layer of defense against hackers and other cyber criminals, a vast majority of internet users and businesspeople fail to understand the importance of creating strong passwords and utilizing the proper password etiquette. Here are some tips to increase your password security:
Most people that we talk to in our IT support firm in Houston create passwords that they can easily remember. This usually means they don’t include the special characters or capitalizations that are the hallmark of strong passwords. In fact, the two most popular passwords in 2016 were ‘password’ and ‘123456.’ While these might be easy for you to remember when you need them, they’re also easy for hackers to guess.
A strong password is one that has no connection to you— no birthdates or names of pets!— and utilizes numbers, letters, capitals, and special characters.
It might seem like a headache to create and remember separate passwords for each account you access, but it’s necessary. If a hacker is able to crack one of your passwords, they can easily gain access to all of your accounts if you use the same password for all of them. When you create multiple passwords, you stop the hacker at one account and minimize damage.
So how do you remember all of these unique passwords when you need them? Writing them down in a notebook is a bad idea since you would have to keep it on you at all times and it might fall into the hands of someone it shouldn’t.
The answer could be a password manager like 1Password or LastPass. These programs can help you store and encrypt multiple passwords so that you have easy access to them when you need them. You will need one master password for these managers, so make sure it’s a good one!
When you are in a social media app or shopping online, you’ll often see the prompt ‘remember me on this site?’ It’s very tempting to click ‘yes’ knowing you’ll never again have to remember your username or password when you revisit it. However, if your laptop or smart device ever gets into the wrong hands, it means that anyone can get into these sites and gain access to personal data or payment information. Hackers are also getting adept at cracking these, so you might not be safe even if your devices are not lost or stolen.
There are many takeaways that your team for IT support in Houston has passed on to clients from World Password Day. The bottom line is, creating strong passwords that are unique to each site you visit or online service you utilize is your first line of defense against cyber criminals. If you have more questions about how to manage your passwords, contact us at ICS today.