How to create stronger passwords

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If your password is 12345 or password, you should change those right now.

Thursday is World Password Day, a day to promote better habits when creating passwords.

Russell P. Reeder, CEO of cloud-based data protection company Infrascale, has provided 5 tips that people can keep in mind for password success.

Be Unpredictable

There are two common password attacks - Brute Force and Dictionary attacks. Both generally involve a bot, but can also be done manually, and involve trying a sequence of numbers and/or common words like 123456 - hence trying to crack a password using “brute force” or common “dictionary” words. To minimize this type of exposure, don't make your passwords predictable.

Be Creative

Related to being unpredictable, consider creating a phrase and use the first or second letter of each word, or substitute a special character for letters and/or numbers. If you just don’t seem to have a creative bone in your body, you can always use a password generator. These are guaranteed to spit out some creative, and secure, password options.

Be Long

These days when you get asked to create a password, most have a minimum of 10-12 character length. The longer the password, the more possible combination and permutations of the password there are, and thereby the safer they generally are. However, don’t forget tips 1 and 2, because long common words and sequences of numbers are still easier to crack!

Be Smart

Believe it or not, one of the more common reasons passwords are compromised is because people share their credentials. Quite simply - never, ever share your password(s). Also, be mindful of phishing - this is where you receive an email or text message asking for you to confirm your details or take some other action where you need to enter your personal credentials. These types of acts are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can look very legitimate, like an email from your bank. As a good rule of thumb, unless you make a request, don't ever enter your credentials. Or, if you have any doubts, contact the organization requesting the information directly.

Be Fresh

Refresh your passwords regularly. While it may seem onerous, and even if you think you have finally come up with the most secure password ever, one of the best ways to protect your password is to change it up regularly. In addition, you should use different passwords for different logins – yes, a different password for every login. Having a unique password for all your accounts assures that if or when one is compromised the others remain protected. Pro tip: If you can't remember all your passwords, consider using a secure password manager.