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Passwords are extremely important in safeguarding your online data, whether it’s your social media account or your bank account. A secure password is one of the biggest barriers that keeps hackers away from damaging you and getting access to your data.

With 865 reported cyber attacks alone in 2017, protection of data has never been more difficult, that is why it’s necessary to take the needed precautions to safeguard your data.

The most important thing is to keep your data safe by choosing a password that is hard to guess. This is important because a lot of hacks occur only due to easy to guess passwords.

This article is written for everyone who has trouble in selecting a password or who does not understand the importance of keeping a difficult password. Without much ado, let’s have a look:

ALSO READ: Security 101: A guide to creating a good password

How to keep passwords secure

While technology has made things easier, it has also put our data at a lot of risk. Passwords are important to keep people from impersonating you and using your identity. Other than this, they also make sure that you data and personal information does not reach unsafe hands.

By getting access to your passwords, people might be able to:

  1. Steal money from your bank account
  2. Buy things on your behalf by using your account
  3. Steal your private pictures and details that can be made public or used to blackmail you
  4. Send messages to your friends, family and coworkers on your behalf

Imagine Facebook: you have your friends and family members added on your account. They all use it to communicate with you. If someone gets access to your account, he or she can see all your posts including your photos. He or she can even get access to your friend’s posts as well. Plus, he or she can even impersonate you and send messages to others pretending to be you.

This is why all such accounts come with password protection, so make sure to keep a good password. And when we say keep or store passwords, we don’t mean on a sticky note. There are many great apps out there that will allow you to easily and securely manage your passwords on your computer and mobile devices. Our favorite is 1Password. Other good password apps include LastPass and Dashlane

Choosing a strong password

Having a strong password can help you avoid being an easy target, which is why we have compiled a list of things for you to remember when selecting a password.

Don’t have passwords that are predictable

Never use a word or phrase of special importance to you that can be guessed easily or researched on the internet like a name of a pet or someone close to you.

Don’t use words found in the dictionary and even if you want to use a phrase or a word make sure to eliminate the vowel and other letters to make sure it’s complex and only makes sense to you.

For example, avoid using America as your password. If you want to do so, make sure to mix it up by keeping a password such as: aM3r!cA.

Mix it Up

Keep a password that is complex and uses a mix of uppercase letters as well as lowercase letters with characters or symbols such as ‘(’, ‘_’.

In addition to this, use numbers between words and keep the password more than 8 letters long, even if that is not the official requirement.

Additionally, you can use any one of the password manager apps to auto-generate you a password that is securely stored in the app’s password vault–those passwords are usually 32-64 characters in length and are completely random to ensure security. 

When should you change your password

It is often recommended to change your password every few weeks, however doing so can be extremely frustrating. According to security officials, changing a passwords will do little to improve your security because in case a hacker has access to your bank account, they won’t sit around for a month to transfer money and will do that the moment they get access to your account.

Still, changing your password every few months and keeping different passwords for different platforms is a good strategy to safeguard your account.

Passwords do not only help in the backup and recovery process, but can also prevent people from causing you any harm so make sure to keep strong passwords for all your accounts.

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