New year, new semester. And with the new semester, it's a good time to update your password. Having a strong password is the key (no pun intended) to keeping all of your personal information safe.
Here are a few tips on making your password easy to remember and hard to breach:
1. Longer Password= Better Password
Hackers may sometimes use a "brute force attack" to find out a password, which involves using a program to try as many combinations of characters as possible. As password length grows, so does the length of time it takes to figure it out with this method.
The characters you use also matter, which leads us to...
2. Numbers, Symbols, Uppercase, Lowercase- All of the above
Try to substitute letters with letters/symbols and vice versa (@ instead of a, for example). Using only lowercase characters means that a brute force attack would only need to test using only 26 characters, but if you include at least 1 uppercase character, they now have to test using 52.
Brute force attacks aren't the only way hackers can get into your private information, so...
3. Personal information is off limits
Information that can easily be found should not be incorporated into a password. This includes birthdays, anniversaries, school, names of relatives, and much more.
Instead of using personal information, you can instead try to...
4. Crack open a thesaurus
You can easily make a secure password by selecting a few random words strung together. These are resistant to brute force attacks and don't use any personal info, and can be easy to remember.
Other than creating strong passwords, always remember to...
5. Utilize a password manager
A password manager is a piece of software the securely stores all of your different password under one account, so instead of remembering many passwords, you only need to remember the one for your password manager! Much easier that way.
More tips coming on the way! In the meantime, follow the guidelines we set out here today, and remember:
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.