Online Security: This Is How to Remember Passwords
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Did you know that the average hacker can crack an eight-character password in about eight hours?
Online passwords are often the final bulwark protecting your accounts from bad actors. As such, hackers use all the tools in their repertoire to obtain them. Creating a password that is strong and unguessable is a vital skill that every Internet user must learn.
The problem is, most people don’t know how to remember passwords. The only passwords people can remember are those that are easy to crack–such as names of family members, sports teams, and lucky numbers.
If you are struggling with remembering passwords, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading as we teach you the best password practices.
Which Passwords Should You Avoid?
The problem with passwords is that they are very easy for a computer to guess–under certain circumstances. Hackers can use sneaky methods to try thousands of password combinations in seconds. That’s why hackers can often guess your password without stealing it from somewhere else.
So let’s cover the types of passwords you should avoid at all costs:
- Short passwords: passwords under 12 characters are not secure
- Passwords with words and phrases: common words and phrases are easy for a computer to guess
- Password with personal information: using your dog’s name is a bad idea in a password
- Passwords that aren’t complex: passwords that don’t use numbers, symbols, and capital letters are weak
- Similar passwords: you should never use the same password for multiple accounts
If your current passwords fall under the above categories, it’s time to change them.
What Is a Good Password?
Good passwords, as you can imagine, are the exact opposite of those above. Good passwords are:
- Avoid common words and phrases
- Contain no personal information, such as birthdates and family member names
- Are very complex
- Are different for every website that you use
As you can see, it would be very difficult to remember a password that adheres to these criteria. Fortunately, there is a solution to that. That solution is a password manager.
How to Remember Passwords: Password Manager
A password manager is a godsend for those who want to keep their accounts safe. Think of a password manager as a secure vault where you can store your passwords. Whenever you need a certain password to log in, you simply open the vault and copy the password to where you need it.
The benefit of this is that you can have as many complex passwords as you need. You don’t need to remember any of them. The only thing you need to remember is the master password, which allows you to access the vault.
In other words, by remembering one password, you have access to dozens or hundreds of strong passwords. The vault is encrypted, which means it’s almost impossible for a hacker to steal them.
Which Password Software Should You Use?
Luckily, there are a lot of password managers to choose from. They’ve become very popular in recent years, resulting in healthy competition for you to choose from. Most password managers are free and offer paid versions with additional features.
Password managers come in the following forms:
- Browser Password Managers: these are password managers built into Edge, Chrome, and Firefox
- Software Password Managers: these are password managers that you download as an app
- Operating System Password Managers: these are password managers that come with your computer or phone
We recommend that you use operating system password managers if you have them. They come integrated with your computer and are easy to use. For example, if you’re considering getting one of the new MacBook Airs, Apple provides a secure password manager for free.
If you have Windows, you should use a browser or software password manager. Edge comes standard with Windows and features a very handy password manager. The password managers in Chrome and Firefox are just as good.
Here is a short list of some of the software password managers you can find:
How to Use a Password Manager
Password managers are easy to use, even if you have very minimal experience with a computer. They all work differently, but the process is generally the same.
If you have weak passwords, we recommend that you replace them with strong passwords using a password manager in the process. Password managers will often automatically save the information for you as you change them.
The steps are as follows:
- Create an account with your email
- Set a strong master password (you can write this down if you need to memorize it)
- Use two-factor authentication to secure your password manager account
- Add your username and email for each online account that you have
- Use the password generator to generate a strong password for each
- Save these account credentials for later
Once you have all your passwords in your password manager, you can start to use them to sign into accounts. We recommend that you use the browser extension to make this easier. Normally, your password manager will offer to enter your username and password for you when you reach the login page.
Some Additional Tips to Keep in Mind about Passwords
Congratulations, you are now keeping your accounts safe with strong passwords! Staying safe online is a learning process, so here are some more tips when you are browsing the Internet:
- Never share your password with anyone online, even customer service agents
- Do not reply to emails that ask you for your username and password
- Install your password manager on all your devices so you have easy access
- If one of your accounts or your password manager says that a password is compromised, change it immediately
- Change your passwords on a regular basis, ideally at least once a year
- Get into the habit of opening your password manager every time you create an account
Get More Tech Tips with Noobie
Now that you know how to remember passwords, you can avoid the vast majority of hacking incidents. Always keep your passwords safe and secure in your password manager. Never divulge your passwords to anyone online.
At Noobie, we understand how complicated it can be to use modern technology. We provide useful reviews and guides on all your favorite gear and software. Check out our website for more helpful software and app how-tos.