In 2020, approximately 47 percent of Americans experienced some form of identity theft. If you don’t know what makes a good password then you’re likely to fall victim to identity theft as well.
In this article, we tell you exactly what makes a unique password and how to create a password that offers the best protection. Continue reading to keep your online accounts as secure as possible.
1. Make it Difficult to Guess
When it comes to learning what makes a good password, you have to consider what people might be able to guess about you. You never want to create a password that is something simple or that someone who knows very little about you could guess.
Once you’ve ruled out that kind of information, think about information people who know you might be able to guess. Even if you can trust them, hackers may be able to obtain detailed information like this.
2. Complexity Is Essential
While it’s difficult to remember even a simple password, simplicity is often a risk to security. Knowing how to create a password that’s complex can help keep your identity and personal information secure.
Consider creating a password that’s a minimum of 10 characters, but longer is better. The longer the password is the more possible combinations of letters, numbers, and punctuation. Longer passwords would take a hacker far longer to crack than they’re willing to commit.
3. Avoid Common Words or Phrases
You may be wondering, ‘what makes a password unique?’ If a word or phrase in your password can be found in the dictionary, you’ve selected something that’s too common to be an effective security measure.
Instead of these types of words, we recommend choosing words or phrases that aren’t in the dictionary. Examples include slang and abbreviations. If you have to use common words, try to break them up with symbols.
4. Use Typos and Misspellings
A misspelled word may not be good for grammar but it’s what makes a good password. The use of typos and misspellings is one of our top unique password tips.
It’s difficult for hackers to determine which correctly spelled words you used. You should make it even harder to guess by spelling words incorrectly.
5. Add Special Characters
What goes in a password that requires special characters? Many users opt for common characters such as a period, an exclamation mark, an ampersand, or a hashtag. These characters are expected by hackers and can threaten your security.
We recommend using special characters for your passwords that are uncommon. Security experts recommend using different types of brackets or characters not found on a traditional keyboard as top security measures.
Common Password Mistakes to Avoid
If you want to know how to create a password that’s effective, you need to understand the most common mistakes online users make when creating them.
Even if you apply the above unique password tips, you might still be putting yourself at risk if you make any of these common mistakes repeatedly. The key to how to create a password that’s effective is being unexpected.
The idea of trying to remember a unique password for every single online account you have may seem daunting. However, recycling the same password over and over can be a serious security risk.
The same can be said about using variations of the same password. If someone were able to guess the main part of your password, figuring out the remainder won’t be very difficult for a skilled hacker.
You should never feel like you have a ‘core’ to your password that you add a new special character to or some capital letters. Instead, when your password expires, you should choose something new and unfamiliar to you for the best password.
Passwords with Personal Information
Personal information is easy to use but not fit for passwords. Any information that could be considered public knowledge is too convenient for a hacker to find. This includes information such as family names, pet names, and addresses.
You may think you can get away with using this information if you use the names of several of your pets or children in different orders. However, even in alternating sequences, the number of possible combinations is far from limitless.
Passwords with Sequences
The best password doesn’t use sequences or cliché passwords. For example, using the word ‘password,’ or any variation of the word is more common than you might expect and an effective way to get hacked.
Using sequences such as “1234 to “abcd” is also a common password mistake. Avoid these easy-to-guess password elements if you want to maximize account security. Consider no sequential numbers and letters instead.
Using Little to No Variety
One of the common mistakes people make when deciding what goes in a password for their account is forgetting to include variety. While some websites require passwords to include uppercase letters, numbers, and characters, some don’t use enough variation.
For example, some website users may choose to capitalize the first letter of their password but fail to include a capital anywhere else. Special characters or punctuation may be used at the end, but not in the middle. Get creative for the best password.
Knowing What Makes a Good Password
Knowing the elements of what makes a good password is the best way to secure your personal and professional accounts against security threats. Avoid falling into the most common mistakes and use the above guide to create the best password possible.
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