A data leak due to stolen email addresses and passwords: it’s more common than we think. And frankly, that is not surprising. How much time and effort do we put into securing our data? How strong are our passwords and how do we ensure that they are not easy to retrieve?
Although it is clear that a password works like a lock on a house, due to the lack of creativity when creating a password we leave the door wide open for hackers. In this blog you can read how you can create a strong password and why everyone should do this.
Why there are still many weak passwords
Easy to guess passwords, you may have created them as well in the past. The combination of a child's name and date of birth or the cat’s name with house number. Those are combinations that are easy to remember. And in addition, we also tend to make them personal. We often use data that can be traced back to people.
In a survey done by Keeper, an online service and password manager, a list of 25 most used passwords was created. In this list, where 10 million available passwords have been reviewed and analyzed, this is the remarkable top 5:
This might only concerns a small group, but those who still use these kinds of passwords in 2020, ask for problems. In this case, it’s a piece of cake for hackers to crack these passwords. This also applies to passwords that contain personal data and passwords, with the so-called “internet spelling” in which sounds are changed: @mst3rd@m instead of Amsterdam, for example.
But why are weak passwords still being used? The answer is simple, but also worrying: we'd rather come up with a simple password that we can remember than make an effort to get hacked. And that has to change!
Why a strong password is important
We live in an era where more things happen digitally. More and more programs we work with, more and more accounts that have to be created and therefore more passwords that we need to create in addition to that. Not only does this apply to our personal accounts, but especially our business accounts.
After all, what would be the consequences if data were accessible to everyone? We can be very brief about that: in addition to the financial damage and time it takes to find out where the leak is, this also causes considerable damage to your reputation as an organization.
But keep in mind, the importance of a strong password is not the only thing we need to take care of. There lies danger in repetition as well. The more accounts = more passwords that need to be remembered. And that seems to be a hassle for some.
The result? Passwords that are used for multiple accounts. Unfortunately, this is not only easy for yourself, but also for hackers. Because if they have insights in which accounts and systems are used, it won’t take long before they know for which accounts the same password is used.
Tips to keep your data secure
So, how do you ensure that hackers can be denied access to your data? With these tips:
- Provide passwords that consist of combinations of different characters. Think of numbers, letters, capital letters and special characters such as @ # $%.
- Avoid easily identifiable information that says something about you, such as your favorite city, date of birth, or place of birth.
- Use phrases, instead of single words. By doing so, you can make longer combinations. A password like “Barcelona123” will be easier to guess than “BarceLon@!s@ALWAYS fun!”.
- Create a unique password for each account. This may take some time, even to remember them. But consider this also makes it more difficult for hackers to access your data.
- Try to change your passwords regularly.
So don't give hackers a chance to access your data - start creating strong passwords!