Creating Powerful Passwords

Many organizations require passwords that are 15 characters long, include numbers and letters, and must be changed every few months. The question everyone has: why?

What are the benefits of password requirements?

They protect your data. When you have a simple password that is just a name or date, hackers can quickly and easily guess it, compromising all your data. When you use a variety of characters, numbers, and symbols, it does not make your password impossible to crack, but it makes it a lot harder. 

The harder your password is to crack, the more time it will take hackers to figure it out, and the more likely they are to move on to easier prey. 

Remembering passwords is too hard!

Yes, it’s hard to remember multiple long and diverse passwords, but your safety is worth it. 

If you use the same password for all your accounts, once a hacker gets your password from one location, the first thing they will do is try it on your other accounts. When all accounts use the same password, hackers will have access to much more of your data and can do much more damage if you get hacked. 

Not all websites have the same security. Organizations and banking websites usually have greater security that deters hackers, but some online gaming sites or online shopping accounts might not have the same protections. Therefore, it is important to have different passwords for different accounts.

If remembering these passwords gets hard, try using a password manager to keep track of your passwords.  Some popular password managers include LastPass, 1Pasword, and Dashlane. 

Create a powerful password that is easy to remember

Pick a phrase about something you like. For example: I love Leadership Institute. Take away the spaces and this will be the base of your password (IloveLeadershipInstitute).

Next add a variety of lower case and capital letters (iLoveLEADershipInstitutE). 

Then add in symbols and numbers to replace a few letters. Using L33t, a method of replacing numbers and symbols with similar-looking letters, can make remembering your password even easier. Some examples of L33T are: o can become 0, i can become !, S can become $, and so on. 

In this example, we have gone from I love Leadership Institute to iL0veL3ADersh!pIn$titutE. This password creation method will make your passwords easy to remember and much more secure.

Store your passwords safely

Never write your passwords down in a journal or sticky note. When passwords are written down, it makes it easier for hackers to physically steal or memorize your password.

Never share your password with others or let someone log into your account. 

When memorizing isn’t an option, pick a password locker that is well rated and known to be secure. 

With those few steps, your online presence and password protection will become more secure than ever before.