Ten tips for writing strong passwords

Ten tips for writing strong passwords

“1234”. According to a study , this is the most frequent key that most users write to protect their online services, where they keep private data of great importance and even the numbers of their bank accounts. This means that any “hacker” can enter a large number of private accounts from Internet platforms in a few seconds. Hence, in this article, some guidelines for making safer passwords are indicated .

When you want to elaborate a few more keys , the user relies, even unconsciously, on symbolic references suchas his birthday, his children’s or his wedding date. Also in this way one makes it easy for “hackers” , because it is enough to enter sites like Facebook, see some of this data and, from them, look for the combination of entry to personal services.

After writing the password it is important to check that it does not contain personal clues

Regarding the username , the “professionals in breaking keys” know that almost everyone uses the same one they have in their email address. It is convenient, therefore, to be much smarter and to shieldwhat is now almost like an open book.

  1. Always look for keys that have more than eight digits . The fewer characters according to a key, the easier it is to break it for a hacker, since the number of possible combinations is less. “Weak” combinations are considered smaller than eight digits, which can be identified with programs that generate random combinations (called robots), which is known as “brute force”.
  2. Never use only numbers . Even if keys with eight or more digits are used, if only numbers are used, it is a matter of time before a robot finds the password and enters the person’s pages.
  3. Nor use only letters or words . The letters can be combined with robots to find the key. Regarding words, they always have a symbolic connection with the subconscious, so that someone who knows a little the user can guess the clues if you think of the name of your partner, their children or their pets.
  4. Always opt for alphanumeric combinations . Mixing letters and numbers is the safest solution because two classification systems come together, which greatly expands the combinations. Anyway, a “hacker” who has some personal data about the user and a lot of psychology can guess the keys if there has been no care in making them. You have to be aware that, in an automatic way, you always look for easy-to-remember combinations related to people and important dates. Therefore, after writing the password it is important to check that it does not contain personal clues.
  5. Collate keyboard signs . A trick that will allow to use letters and numbers related to the life of the user without danger is to intersperse symbols like “#”, “$”, “&” or “%” between the characters of the password. Its presence is much harder to discover for hackers and robots.
  6. The best are random keys . If a random key generator program can be used, it will be much better protected.The ClaveSegura page offers, free of charge, one in which you can choose both the length of the password and the number of alphanumeric characters. Other services such as The Password Meter measure the level of security of the passwords that are made.

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  7. Do not use the same password for everything . It seems obvious, but it is what most people do. You have to have a different password for each service. It is also advisable to change them every so often.
  8. Save the keys in a text document . As the secure keys are very difficult, not to say impossible, to remember, the logical thing is to have them written in a text document, which will be used to store the passwords of all personal services. Each time you enter a service, you will have to resort to this document. It may be heavy, but it is safer.
  9. Keep the document in a safe place . There are several options to save the document with the user’s keys.The first is to use a USB memory physically separated from the computer and only plugged in when you want to open the document with the password. You have to be aware that you can have the terminal monitored by some malicious software (it happens much more often than you think) or that someone can access through the Wi-Fi connection if it is not secure enough .The second alternative is to archive the document in a backup on a network server , with encryption protocols of 128 bits or more. It can be saved on platforms designed for such uses, such as Clipperz . Simply open this service and access the document. Yes, the access password to Clipperz has to be very complex, it must be written in a notebook, put in a drawer and know that if it is lost, the rest of the keys will be lost.
  10. Beware of open sessions . On many occasions, users keep sessions of different online services open in the browser. In this way, in case of losing the computer or leaving the session open in a public terminal or a third party, it can endanger your privacy and security, by facilitating access to your account. To minimize this risk, a recommendable option is to leave all the services of habitual use , be it the electronic mail, the different social networks where one participates or the platforms where documents are kept to synchronize them, etc.In case of having a portable device such as computers, telephones or tablets, it is advisable to activate a security mechanism to access the system every time the device goes into hibernation or the screen turns off . In this way, if someone turned on the device and the user had not activated this protection, the stranger could easily access their services with open sessions.

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