Security is one of the most essential features that everyone needs in their devices. Having a secure and well locked device does not only give you a sense of peace, but also keeps all your files and personal information from getting into the hands of individuals who you might not have wanted to gain access to them. This is particularly important in the wake of the recent hacking of iCloud accounts in which a cache of celebrity personal data was poured online. It does not apply to celebrities only, as typically anyone is at risk in the event that you have a weak password. In light of this, the following are some of the basic tips that you could adopt to ensure that your password is difficult, if not impossible to compromise.
- Change your password often.
Generally, most people rarely update their passwords as often as it should be. People tend to stick with the initial password that they set while opening the account that that password protects. This should not be the case, and you should always strive to change your password after every few months. This makes it much harder for someone to get accustomed to ‘how you key in your password’, hence improve your security.
- Use different passwords for different accounts.
This is a difficult one due to the unfair way that the current society makes us need Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Instagram, and a host of other accounts. Maintaining an independent password for each of these accounts is a tall order, but highly recommended. As much as you may mix them up in the first few days, you will soon have to get used to them after a few months. But again you have to change them after a few months as per the first point. Yes, that’s the price you pay for top-notch security.
- Never use letters or numbers in the order that they appear.
This generally means that it is quite unwise to put something like ‘qwerty1234’ as your password. The sequence is extremely easy to guess, and this makes it more susceptible to hackers. Instead, opt for something more unique and which does not appear as a single line within your keyboard.
- Make your passwords long and complex.
Never use a short password, say, of only 4 characters. For those who studied combinations, the total number of combinations increases with increase in the number of digits or characters involved. This means that it is harder to correctly guess a random number of 9 digits than it is for 3 or 4 digits. In addition, always incorporate upper and lower case, special characters like commas and the ampersand (&) and its ilk in your password. Therefore, next time do not ignore that password strength indicator that always prompts you to revise your password.
- Give a lot of attention to password reset and recovery tools.
In certain scenarios, a hacker will knowingly enter a wrong password and be directed to a reset or recovery site. In the event that you skipped all this and failed to make it fool proof, your account will most likely be accessed. Moreover, be smart and do not give the true answers to password reset questions such as ‘Your pet’s name.’ In case you actually have a pet, then you go ahead and put the pet’s exact name as the answer to you security question, rest assured that it can easily be compromised since chances are that many people know your pet’s name.