Can Your Password Pass a Password Security Test?: The Importance of a Strong Password

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When was the last time you tested the strength of the passwords you use online every day? 

Most of us have many passwords that we use all the time, but we don't always change them often enough or know if they're strong enough to protect us from cyber-attacks. In fact, compromised passwords make up the majority of data breaches. 

Many people underestimate the importance of strong passwords. If your account has a weak password, hackers can get into your personal information in just seconds. Access to just one of your online accounts can give them access to multiple, especially if you use the same password or a slightly different variation across the web. 

Here are a few things you can do, including a password security test, to ensure your passwords are strong and your personal data is safe online: 

1. Follow Password Best Practices 

Websites often have password strength rules that you have to follow, but you shouldn't stop there. Always add extra special characters, numbers, and capital letters, so it's harder to guess. 

Don't use personal information in your passwords, numbers connected to you (such as a birthday), or dictionary words. As a general rule, a strong password is at least 16 characters or more. 

2. Use Strong Passwords on Every Website 

Use strong passwords across the board, no matter what website you're creating an account on. 

For example, don't use a strong password for your online banking but a weak password for your Amazon account. Hackers can easily pull personal information from websites where you shop, especially if you've saved credit cards and addresses on the site. 

3. Conduct a Password Security Test 

As you're creating an online password, some websites have a gauge that will tell you how strong your password is. These tools are helpful, but you should also try a separate security test. 

Password security tests are available online, and many offer tips and tools that will help you create a stronger password. Some tools also show you how long it would take a hacker to access your account if you used that password. 

4. Update Your Passwords Often 

When it comes to your online passwords, you should never set them and forget them. Make sure you're updating your passwords every couple of months or as often as possible. You should also never rotate passwords. Use a unique password on every website every time you update. 

5. Use the Right Password Manager 

Many of us can't remember all of our passwords, so we use applications and online tools that store our passwords for us. These password manager tools are helpful, but you need to ensure you're using them properly. 

For example, make sure the password manager has security measures in place, like two-factor authentication. You should also ensure your change your master password often and keep the password manager updated. 

Protect Yourself With Strong Passwords Today 

Strong passwords ensure your data is protected and helps you avoid cyber crimes like identity theft, so conduct your password security test today. For more information on keeping yourself safe online, make sure you check out the Tech section of the Bootstrap Business Blog.

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