Although there have been many advancements when it comes to the protection of our online identities – the most notable being biometric authentication and other, experimental methods – security experts still consider passwords to be the best line of defense against hackers. However, no matter how many times users are told to pay more attention to securing their data, these warnings constantly fall on deaf ears, even in an era when there is no year that goes by without some major data breach happening. And if password habits don’t change – which, unfortunately, seems to be the case – the threat of losing our most precious data to wrongdoers will definitely stay with us for a long time. But like everything, password security can be improved – and it starts with eliminating bad password behavior.
Convenience as a Burden
In some ways, the fact that security breaches are getting more frequent with each passing year doesn’t make any sense, because password management is easier and more convenient than ever these days. However, it’s this need for convenience that results in those terrible passwords that so often end up in the list of the worst passwords. A study published in the Behaviour & Information Technology journal revealed as early as 2008 that when it comes to creating passwords, the vast majority of people never sacrifice convenience for security even though they are fully aware of the risks of weak credentials.
Sadly, a study conducted by LastPass only a decade later proves that this situation is even worse than ever. Not only are people making the same mistakes over and over again – such as reusing passwords or creating ones that are easy to crack – but the majority of them are also negligent, taking absolutely no precautions when their data has already been compromised. But what’s truly sad is that aside from ignoring any sign of danger, ignorant users also reject solutions that can make their lives easier for managing online credentials.
How to Ensure Good Password Behavior
Since big companies tend to bury their heads in the sand – just like Facebook and Google did in 2018 – it’s mostly up to us to prevent hackers from stealing our data. Improper password habits are the biggest blockade to this goal and, as such, the following changes to your password behavior is a must if you truly want to keep your most precious data secured.
Take Password Policies Seriously
Seeing a carefully crafted password rejected by a site’s password policy can be annoying, but these policies are created for a reason. So when a website asks you to include upper and lower-case letters, numbers, or special characters when creating an account, it’s a smart idea to comply with these rules. After all, it’s for your own benefit to create strong passwords.
Make Strong but Memorable Passwords
The more complex a password is, the less chance there is for it to be cracked. This is something that most people know. What they often don’t know, however, is that strong passwords don’t necessarily mean a set of random characters that are hard to memorize. In fact, there are plenty of different techniques with which users can create something truly unique that not only complies with the requirements of a truly unbreakable login, but that is also easy to recall from memory. There is no need to worry if you are unable to come up with such a password however, since the more advanced online password generators can generate credentials that are strong yet relatable and, as such, more memorable.
Use Password Managers
More than just being easy to use for even the least tech-savvy users, password managers cleverly combine convenience and the utmost security, the two very things that people are looking for when it comes to their passwords. In that regard, password managers can store virtually all kinds of credentials, but will also protect them with military-grade encryption within the device that the password manager is installed on. But what’s truly important is that password management tools are capable of storing and recalling all your complex logins for you, meaning that aside from the master password – the virtual key that unlocks the software’s safe vault – you won’t need to bother remembering any of your passwords anymore.
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