Today is World Password Day.
Too many people only use a password to protect their accounts, such as on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Usually, they also use a simple combinations like 123456, azerty, their pet's name or their name and year of birth. That's not a good idea, because anyone who knows a little bit about them could guess these. There are also computer programs that try all possible combinations of letters and numbers at a dizzying speed until they find the right combination. Such a program can guess short passwords in minutes or even seconds.
To better protect your accounts, you need to do take a different approach. Forget your old passwords and follow these tips:
1. Use two-factor authentication or 2FA
Two-step verification uses a password in combination with something you have (e.g. a mobile phone) or something you 'are' (e.g. fingerprint). In the first step, you log into your account using your password (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, etc.). In the second step, for example, the account sends a code to your mobile phone, which you have to enter to gain access to your account.
2. Use multiple passwords
Do not use the same password everywhere. Use different passwords for different accounts.
3. Use a password manager
Remembering passwords is quite a task. Use an online password safe or a 'password manager'. You'll find them in all shapes and sizes, free or for a fee.
4. Don't let anyone in on your password
Sharing passwords is never a good idea. You never know what happens to your password and abuse is never far away. Don't stick a post-it with your password on your screen. It is also not safe to keep passwords in an e-mail or in a document on your computer or smartphone.
5. Choose a strong password
A strong password is a long password. Anything over 13 characters is good. Create a mix of lowercase, uppercase, numbers and special characters and you'll have the perfect password.