The Importance of Secure Passwords

Choosing the right password is important for maintaining a secure online presence.

When it comes to passwords, we understand that not everyone likes remembering long and complex passwords, however they are a necessity to keeping your emails and other online accounts protected.

A little bit of background

My friends and family say I’m paranoid when I tell them my passwords are a minimum of 24 characters long, and usually longer than that – I explain to them a secure password is required to maintain privacy and security, since the Internet can expose your personal and sensitive information if you are not careful. ‘How do you remember such long passwords?’, they ask. Do I have many different long passwords? What if I forget a password? Yes, yes, and nothing – I, or we, use a password manager.

As a website and software development company, we understand client concerns when it comes to online security. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on the importance of secure passwords online so we can help you protect and guard your digital accounts, which are essentially your digital identity. You’d keep your passport, driving license, or other ID card safe – the same rules apply to online identities!

How To Avoid Being Vulnerable Online

Online security is a real concern for anyone and everyone who has digital accounts on multiple websites. You may have registered an account for something and only used it once, perhaps to redeem an offer or to download a particular app.

The data you provided during registration, such as your name, email address, password and possibly your personal information (date of birth, address and mobile number) is sitting somewhere in a database. If it is an unsecure or vulnerable database, it makes it very easy for attackers to gain access to it and for your information and accounts to be compromised.

Imagine if you use the same email address and password for several online accounts including important and regularly used platforms such as your email, banking apps/websites, or Netflix – this means the hacker could potentially gain access to other accounts using that same email and password combination.

This is why it is vital to not reuse passwords. Our clients often come to us seeking advice about password vulnerability so we often describe it as: If all the house doors on your street could be opened with one key, why would you not think about changing your locks? You definitely wouldn’t want someone else snooping around in your home and your online accounts are no different.

How To Create A Secure Password

Creating a secure password can be challenging for some users. Websites often recommend generating a password which is over 8 characters and contains at least 1 number, capital letter and symbol/special character.

Our Password Tips

Here at Element Software, our advice is to always pick a combination of a few memorable things, such as nicknames, dates, places, and manipulate the way they are written.

For example, if your chosen memorable things were Ferrari, 2019, and Watermelon, you could combine and manipulate them to become ‘[email protected]’ – notice how:

  • the ‘a’ in Ferrari has been replaced with the @ symbol
  • the year 2019 has been abbreviated as 2k19
  • the word ‘water’ in watermelon has been replaced with H2O (still water)

This creates a more secure password than ‘Ferrari2019Watermelon’ because of the additional capital letters and the special character ‘@’.

Password Generators

If you are looking for inspiration on passwords, there are several password generators online which can help. Here are a few to get you started:

How To Store Passwords Securely

Creating strong passwords is one thing, remembering them is another. As mentioned previously, we actively advise against keeping the same passwords across your digital channels. However, how do you remember all of these passwords?

We recommend using a password manager. There are several options around, such as 1Password and LastPass, and they all offer similar features:

  • Accessible on desktop or via an app
  • Autofill password options
  • Store and organise login information
  • Can be shareable with family and colleagues
  • Built-in password generator
  • Inexpensive monthly charges

By storing your passwords in a secure platform, you can control and keep track of all your accounts in a simple yet safe way. Our team has had experience with several password managers and recommend finding the right one for you. Whether you are looking for a password storage system for personal, freelance or business use, they are vital for keeping account details safe and at less risk of being compromised.

Our Approach At Element Software

As part of our professional website and design service here at Element Software, we are proactive when it comes to security and we use a firewall to ensure your website and data is protected. We provide SSL to give you HTTPS as standard, as well as website backup services.

Whilst we are based in Leicester, we offer our software support, website development and SEO services to business across the East Midlands and the UK. Contact us to learn more and see how we can support your business. Email us at [email protected] or call us on 0739 432 4284.

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