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Securing Your Passwords

by Chayse Dorn / WRJW News

I’m starting a series I’m calling “Have You Tried Plugging It In?” I will cover different topics related to technology. The goal is to help you, the readers, enhance your safety and ability to relax in this technology-filled (and sometimes tech-dependent) world.

With the overwhelming attempt by scammers and rogue cybersecurity experts to acquire your personal information, the need to stay ahead of these thieves is more important now than ever.

Passwords keep our accounts secure and allow us to feel safe when we log out of an account. However, there is a proper way to create a password to ensure that our private information is out of reach from hackers.

The term is “Password Complexity,” and in simple words, means having a password that contains at least 8 characters including one uppercase letter, digits 0-9, and often a special character such as ! or ?. You want to refrain from using the same password for multiple accounts and not using birthdays, anniversaries, or numbers in numerical order.

According to “A 10 digit that uses only numbers can be cracked in an instant by a hacker – while one made of only lowercase letters would take up to a minute. However, if you use upper case and lower case, plus numbers and symbols, it could take a hacker up to two weeks to crack.”

For a great example, if you want a solid password, you could use something like “1wantT0bean!astruan0t#” (it reads like “I want to be an astronaut”). This example uses a mix of numbers, upper/lower case letters, and symbols. This greatly increases the security of your password from being easily and quickly cracked. As of 2022, “nearly 1 out of 4 people had their data breached in 18 months.” (Bitwarden,2022).

To further protect your data from hackers, consider using different passwords for your accounts. Using a one-size-fits-all approach with your passwords can make remembering them easy, sure. But it also makes hacking into all your accounts a breeze for hackers. You may be asking yourself “Well, how do I remember all my passwords??”.

While remembering your passwords would be the best, writing them down then keeping them in a safe or somewhere they would not easily be found could also be an excellent option… and NEVER share your passwords with anyone.

In review, passwords can certainly keep our data safe and out of the reach of those who wish to do us harm. However, it is up to us to create a password that is difficult to crack by using Password Complexity. Just remember to use a mix of upper case, lower case, digits, and symbols to make a solid password.

Never share your passwords with anyone, don’t use dates or names of pets or family members. By using a complex password, you can better prevent becoming a 1 in 4 statistic of data breaching.




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