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Password Security Tips
While passwords can be a headache with their unique requirements for various sites, expiration time, and difficulty to memorize, they are an important aspect of staying safe online. Here are some simple steps to secure your accounts through better password practices.
- Turn your passwords into passphrases
Make your password a positive memorable sentence. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) just released a special publication stating that strong passwords are not a random collection of letters, numbers, and special characters, but rather passphrases such as "I love snickers bars.". Many sites even allow you to use spaces. As always, you must comply with the password requirements of each site.
- Make a new password for each account
At least have a separate password for your work and personal accounts. In doing this, cybercriminals that have cracked your password only have access to a limited number of accounts and you minimize your risk. It is often helpful to use a password manager such as lastpass that will securely save your passwords (unlike browser's 'remember my password' feature).
- Use Multi-Factor (two-factor) Authentication
Typing a username and password is one level of security, but to ensure that you are the only one logging into your accounts at all times, enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your accounts is key. This resource called Lock Down Your Login shows you step by step how to enable MFA on the most used websites today.
MFA is accomplished through a variety of methods. The site may ask you to put in biometric data such as a fingerprint, text you a one time code, send a push notification directly to your phone through an app, or some other secure method. Overtime, more websites will be adopting MFA to secure their service and protect your account.