The simple guide to securing your passwords

by Jeremy

On any given day, you might toggle between a bunch of work, banking, shopping sites, email, and social media. And if you’re wondering how to keep those passwords secure, you’ve come to the right place.

Since we’re all online, there’s a “rinse and repeat” mentality for passwords, with many of us recycling passwords for memory. According to the cybersecurity experts at ESET, we should be doing the opposite. Here, they share the best way to create strong passwords — and what to do if you can’t remember all of them (hint: you don’t have to).The simple guide to securing your passwords

#1 Choose a complicated password

For many of us, the instinct is to pick a password that’s easy to remember. Think pet names, cities, streets, or dates of birth. The problem? Those passwords open the door for hackers, especially if they already have access to some of your personally identifiable information (PII).

The goal is to make your password as strong, complex, and obscure as possible. Skip any identifying information, common words and phrases, and strings of similar numbers (like 11111). Instead, combine numbers, capital letters, and symbols, aiming for around 12 characters or more. You could try using a password that’s a phrase instead of a single word or mixing observations from different languages you speak to end up with strong password examples.

For help with good password ideas, take full advantage of ESET’s free password generator tool. The system will spit out airtight passwords for you with little effort on your part, and don’t worry: it won’t store them.

#2 Use a unique password for every account

As tempting as using the same password across multiple accounts, having a different password for every login is important. Why? If cyber thieves crack that password, they’ll only be able to access one account — not many of them. If you want to know how to secure your passwords, this is one of the simplest and most effective steps.

Top tip: Sign up for a new account on your smartphone. Your phone might suggest an ideal password of random numbers and letters, a handy feature.

#3 Change your passwords frequently

Once you’ve nailed down strong, hard-to-guess passwords for your accounts, enjoy them for about 2-3 months before changing them. Switching up your passwords regularly is essential to keep your personal and sensitive information safe and boost your cybersecurity at home and work.

If you get a notification that one of your passwords has been involved in a data leak, change it immediately. This means it’s been compromised, and cybercriminals might seize that opportunity.

Are you worried about keeping track of so many passwords? A sophisticated password manager can store and encrypt your usernames and passwords, so you don’t need to commit them to memory. Think of it as a password vault with many layers of security.

ESET’s Smart Security Premium is an antivirus software with a built-in password manager for full protection. Along with securing your passwords, it can generate complex passwords for you and pre-fill in forms. The software can set up iOS face detection and two-factor authentication for you, meaning you’ll need to type in a code sent to your phone or email to log in to the password manager.

Besides organizing your passwords, Smart Security Premium monitors and responds to various cyber threats, including malware, ransomware, and phishing scams. The software also notifies you if one of your passwords is at risk or if your sites or systems have been involved in a breach.

Invest in password protection today.

With a good password manager, you must remember the master password, which is much better than remembering dozens or hundreds of passwords (especially when changing them often). Simplify your life and take the time to set up a good password protection system now so you never ve to worry about password security or forget your passwords again.

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