Tips for Choosing Strong Passwords

gold key and padlockBoth the United States government and American businesses have been targeted by hackers who have successfully stolen credit card information, disabled websites, and deleted military files. After an attack, companies and agencies are left struggling to determine and explain just how their data was stolen or compromised. As they attempt to recover, cyber security experts use these events to emphasize the importance of being prepared for an attempted attack. As most of us know, one way to doing so is creating strong passwords.

To increase cyber security and help protect you or your company’s digital identity, here are some tips on creating effective passwords:

  • Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters
  • Don’t base your password on information that is publicly known (i.e., your birthday or spouse’s name)
  • Use an untraditional combination of words that only you would remember
  • Don’t use the same password across multiple programs or websites

Cyber security experts know that weak passwords are largely to blame for online security breaches. Hackers have access to a number of tools, such as dictionary-based systems, that are effective in cracking weak passwords. A secure password, however, is one that a hacker cannot easily guess or crack using software tools. While keeping to the tips listed above may seem inconvenient, doing so can protect you and your company or agency from facing extremely compromising situations in the future.