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Are Your Passwords Strong Enough?

November 02, 2023

With the surge of online services and increased smartphone and tablet usage, password security is critical. The use of passwords remains the primary authentication protocol for online accounts, so keeping your passwords secure is vital to protecting those accounts.

One common frustration is that complex password requirements make it challenging to create passwords that are tricky/unusual yet also easily remembered. This complaint is universal and has actually led to easier breaches for cybercriminals. Why? People who are burned out from password overload are more likely to either memorize one password and use it across multiple accounts, or create simple and easy-to-remember passwords, which are easier to crack! (Password123, anyone?)

How can you ensure your passwords are strong and secure, so the barrier to entering your online accounts is at maximum effectiveness? Follow these three tips:

Use two-factor authentication. Many businesses that store your personal information now offer you an extra layer of security by either texting a one-time code, asking you multiple security questions, or requesting your fingerprint recognition to confirm that it's truly YOU trying to access the account. There's a huge security benefit to using these high-tech features.

Use "passphrases" instead of passwords. Instead of using a one-word password, string together a few words with symbols in place of letters to create a "passphrase" relevant to each account, such as "Thi$I$MyFir$tHomeloanAccount." Not only do these phrases fulfill the newer, complex password requirements, but they can be much easier to remember and harder to crack.

Use a password manager, not a sticky note. Instead of surrendering to using simple passwords or writing them all down, use a password manager. Think of it as a vault that holds all your passwords; only you have the master key. So you only need to remember one strong and unique password while the manager remembers the rest for you. Bitwarden, Dashlane, and 1Password are a few of the highest-rated options; just be sure to do your research to find the best option for your needs.

Choosing and using the best passwords -- and keeping them secure -- is one more way to significantly reduce your online risk. We hope you found this information helpful! Give us a call if you have any questions about how we keep client information safe and secure.