Passwords (strong passwords, 2FA)
In a few words
Currently we all have to manage passwords to be able to save our digital content (from access to our electronic devices, social media accounts, email, etc. to online bank accounts). Our data and money are kept safe as long as we don’t let anyone have access to our passwords. Weak passwords can lead to a number of security problems as they are easier to guess or crack. If someone discovers your weak password, they can access your account and perform unauthorized actions, such as changing account information, obtaining personal data, making fraudulent purchases, or stealing personal information. In some cases, if you have not taken reasonable steps to protect your account with a strong password and your account is compromised, you could face legal problems or be held liable for the consequences.
For these reasons, it is essential to use strong passwords and follow good online security practices. Additionally, consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible, as it adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts, even if someone discovers your password.
If you want to know more, please check our links at the end of this chapter.
Let’s dive deeper
Security problems related to insecure passwords are very common in the digital world. Here are some considerations for creating and managing strong passwords:
1. Length: Use long passwords. The longer a password is, the more difficult it will be for an attacker to guess it. A minimum length of at least 12 characters is recommended.
2. Complexity: A strong password should include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, such as punctuation symbols. Avoid common and easy-to-guess words or phrases.
3. Avoid personal information: Don’t use readily available personal information, such as your name, date of birth, family members’ names, or phone numbers in your passwords.
4. Don’t use obvious passwords: Avoid obvious passwords like “123456”, “password”, “admin”, “qwerty”, etc.
5. Don’t reuse passwords: Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. If one website or service is compromised, your other accounts will still be safe.
6. Use a password manager: Using a reliable password manager will help you generate, store and manage passwords securely. These tools generate complex passwords and store them in encrypted form. Don’t write down your passwords on paper.
7. Change passwords regularly: Change your passwords periodically, especially for sensitive accounts such as bank or email accounts.
8. Two-factor authentication (2FA): Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second verification method, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to the password.
9. Monitor your accounts: Periodically, review the activity history on your online accounts to detect any suspicious activity.
10. Keep software up to date: Make sure your operating system and security software are up to date to avoid known vulnerabilities.
11. Caution in selecting security questions: If a site asks you to select security questions, choose answers that are not easily guessed by people who know you.
Remember that the security of your passwords is essential in an increasingly digitalized world. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the risk of compromise of your online accounts.