How to choose better passwords?

Passwords are the keys which we use everyday to access our phones, computers, social media accounts, bank accounts and virtually everything (pun intended) which needs to be protected from the outside eyes. Passwords are all that which stands between our personal world and the eyes of vicious nexus of cyber hackers and criminals.

Imagine if someone sitting in a remote corner of the world, unknown and oblivious to you, gets hold of your confidential information – one simply don’t want to believe this happening to them. Even the thought of cyber crime can make us shudder in disbelief and no one would every want to be a victim. The question arises – are you smart enough to secure yourself?

Cyber crime is a blooming industry, with more than 400 million people being affected by cyber frauds and online scams, the need to take your safety in your own hands is stronger than ever. The first step towards cyber security is choosing stronger, better passwords. Worrying about how to do so? The following tips will get you started on the road towards cyber safety –

1) Change Old Passwords : ‘Old is Gold‘ – this saying might hold true for most, but not when it comes to passwords. Many of us millenials are still using the same old passwords which were set when our email IDs were created. For you to increase your security, it is strongly recommended to change your old passwords. Want to know how? Read On…

2) Use Non-Random Patterns : Cyber hackers, are just like us, using latest technology to break into private information. They too are smart, educated and have access to common words and phrases, famous quotes, movie dialogues, dictionaries etc. If you wish to set up a strong password, use special characters and symbols to make things less obvious and more secure. You can also add certain patterns to make your password more complex. For example – 2ndtonone4[you] is an interesting way to use numbers, characters and patterns.

3) Choose Longer Passwords : When it comes to passwords, the longer it is, the stronger it is. Most cyber criminals use advanced softwares to crack passwords, thus a longer password simply has a better chance towards security against such tools. For added strength, you can use numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase to your existing passwords too. Make sure that your password is atleast 8 characters or more.

4) Combine Multiple Words : This is an effective way to create better passwords which are not only secure but are also easy to remember. The key is to combine a memory or an event which you will remember easily. For example – itriedparaglidingandilovedit OR ilovetorideahorseonweekends

5) Use Multiple Passwords for Multiple Purposes : Imagine if a hacker gets hold of your password. What’s worst than having all your accounts hacked because you were lazy enough to choose the same password for each one of them? It is recommended to choose multiple passwords. The best way to do this is to set up passwords like categories. for example – your ‘social media‘ account(s) can use one password, your ‘professional/work‘ account(s) can be secured with a dedicated passwords and your ‘banking/savings‘ account(s) ┬ácan be protected with a seperate password.

Until face-detection, retina scanning and fingerprint access become household technology, passwords are our only bet towards a safer, secure tomorrow. What’s good is that our safety lies in our hands (quite literally) and anyone can use the above mentioned tips to create stronger, better passwords and protect themselves against the malice of cyber crimes and online phishing scams. As the old saying goes –

“Choose Wisely, Live Well”

This blog post is in association with Indian Cyber Army – an organization which is dedicated towards the cause of fighting against cyber crimes and promoting awareness for the betterment of people.