Avoiding your devices from becoming hacked requires the use of long, strong and secure passwords.
However, why else are they important?
Victims of hacking often have their bank details, money, or even worse, their identity is stolen. Hackers assume the identification of their victims by changing their passwords and taking over the devices including phones and laptops.
Once this has occurred, hackers and unauthorised users could even use someone else’s identity to break the law and also put the victim in legal trouble.
With the increased adoption of new technology like laptops, smartphones, mp3 players, tablets and computers – has seen a surge in the way we interact, stream and share information online.
And more of us are working remotely online, meaning the likelihood of us being more connected, means a bigger target for online security threats.
These devices connect with each other, access the internet, and store information online, including financial transactions, passwords and additional personal information.
The only way to protect this valuable data from unauthorised use is by adding a password.
Users use passwords to authorise a particular use of a device or website. One device or site may have several users, each with its unique password.
Thus, a password that is tricky to figure makes it prohibitively hard for hackers to break into a machine and will (hopefully) force them to look for another target.
The more complex the password, the lower the risk that one’s computer will fall victim to an unwanted hack.
Vital features when creating long, strong and secure passwords
To reduce the risk of a hacker guessing your password, take into account these features when creating your new password:
Rather than passwords, mobile devices require passcodes or a Personal Identification Number (PIN). Typically, PINs and passcodes have between four and six digits or characters – needless to say, the more, the better.
Passcodes and PINs have built-in time-out features – any inactivity over a certain amount of time will require the re-entering of the PIN or passcode.
Always set your time-out periods to less than 20 minutes, less is unmistakably better.
Similarly, if a PIN or passcode is entered incorrectly after several attempts, the access is not only denied, but the code will require resetting.
Mobile devices also have temporary code generators features that can notify you via email or SMS and if your device is currently used in an unusual manner or a location not known to you – immediately change your codes.
With so many passwords required in our daily lives, users become frustrated about how many they need or fear they will forget them if they make them too complicated to remember.
Usually, a person will create a password based on something that is unique and memorable to them, like a favourite place, person or phrase they like to live by.
One excellent alternative to continuing using more personal passwords is to replace a specific letter in the sentence with a number or symbol.
For example, the word “Password” contains ‘a’, and ‘o’ – these could be replaced with ‘8’ and ‘0’. Plus, you could add a # instead of a ‘w.’ By using this method, “Password” becomes “P8ss#0rd”.
Note: Please NEVER use the word “password” as a password, or attempt to amend it.
Whilst passwords, passcodes and PINs are vital for continued security when connecting devices online and using websites; there are other checks you can do:
Preventing hackers and unauthorised access to your computer and mobile devices requires strong, long and secure passwords, passcodes and PINs.
As more of our lives are kept online, new opportunities for hackers and other cyber-criminals are increasing to obtain user data.
By avoiding creating lax and insecure passwords, users can add an extra layer of protection to their online presence.
For this reason, people should better protect themselves by forming long and complex passwords.