All of us have passwords for computers, devices, online services, banking, etc, but few of us use a strategy for managing their passwords. I personally use Dashlane as a password manager, and encourage others to do so, as well, but there are several things consumers can do to improve their password hygiene:
- Use a unique password for every online account
- Select a password theme for certain types of online services such as social media, banking, shopping accounts, etc., and do NOT use the same one across multiple categories
- Generate passwords that exceed the minimum of 8 characters
- Create passwords with a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and special symbols
- Avoid using passwords that contain common phrases, slang, places, pets, mother’s maiden names, and names—including team names
- Use a password manager to help generate, store, and manage your passwords
- Only connect to an unsecured WiFi network using a VPN
- Most sites now have an SSL certificate. Do not enter ANY information, even mailing info, in sites that do not have a digital certificate installed.
Do not use Facebook to login into 3rd party services, or allow your browser to save both the login and passwords for secure sites. This advice may sound obvious, but convenience is a compelling motivator for lazy behaviour.