Join us as we look at why different passwords are so important, and how you can remember them all.
Why you need separate passwords for each system you use
Imagine you had the same key for your home and car. While it may make things a little more convenient, it means that if someone steals your key, they’d be able to access both your house and your vehicle.
The same premise applies to passwords. If you use the same one for all your websites and apps, a cybercriminal could potentially access all your accounts if they get hold of just one of your passwords.
According to Google, over half of people reuse the same password for multiple accounts, while one in ten uses the same password for everything.
If you’re reading this and nodding, it’s time to do a password audit. Pour yourself a big cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) and look at all the different accounts you have and the passwords you use. If any of them are the same, it’s time to change them.
How to memorise all your passwords
The average person has around 100 passwords. This figure increased by 25% in the pandemic as people signed up for new online services to keep them entertained and productive during lockdown.
If you’re panicking at the prospect of having to remember 100 unique passwords, don’t worry. Here are some of our top tips for remembering which login is for what.
Take the first letter of each word in a sentence
Here’s a top tip for creating high-quality, uncrackable passwords. When creating or renewing your passwords, think of a memorable sentence, and use the first letter of each. That way, you get a password that the cybercriminals can’t guess, but means something to you.
For example, say your sentence is: ‘I went to Hillstreet secondary school when I was 12, and my favourite subject was French.
Your password would be: ‘IwtHsswIw12amfswF’.
Get rid of the accounts you don’t use
How often have we created an account for something we’ve only used once? If you have lots of online accounts that you no longer use, consider shutting them down.
Not only does this mean fewer passwords to remember, but by removing your personal data, you’re keeping yourself a little bit safer from any potential data breaches.
Create a core password
This is when you have one strong password, which you create variations of on different websites. That way, you’re using a password you’re familiar with, but is different enough to stop hackers in their tracks.
For example, let’s say your core password is ‘2B!hP9@c’. If you’re creating a new password for Just Eat, you could add a ‘Je’ at the end – so ‘2B!hP9@cJe’.
Write them down
In an age of internet browsers, websites and uploads, sometimes it’s perfectly okay to use a notepad and pen.
If you feel comfortable writing your passwords down in a book, then we say more power to you. Just make sure to keep your book in a secure place where you (and only you) can easily access it.
Our top tip – don’t make it obvious that your book contains passwords – the internet password minder book went down like a lead balloon on The Ellen Show!
Get a password manager
Sometimes you need to work smarter, not harder. A password manager is a service that remembers all your passwords for you – all you need is one secure password to access it.
Many different password managers are available, and the good news is that most are free or low-cost. We like MYKI and Dashlane. Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Safari all have built-in password managers too.
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