A Concise Guide to Secure Passwords

When it comes to protecting your online accounts, a secure password is your first line of defense. As hackers become more sophisticated and technology advances, make sure your password protocols are evolving as well. Recent research shows an alarming amount of password use that provides insufficient protection. This includes too short passwords, passwords that aren’t complex enough, and passwords used across multiple platforms.

Fortunately, you no longer need to rely on easy passwords and your memory to keep track of your passwords. These newest authentication trends can keep your information protected and your passwords secure.

Top Authentication Trends for 2021

You know the drill when it comes to password safety. Stick with complex passwords that include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Always stay away from important dates, names, and other information that’s easy to guess. Don’t rely on complexity alone, though. The FBI recently revealed that long passwords actually do a better job than short complex ones, even if they are less complex.

However, in today’s day and age, it’s not enough to rely on a well-crafted password and hygienic password use. For complete account protection, you’ll want to consider using new technology to keep your data safe. Here are some of the tools you can use to ramp up security on your accounts.

Multi-Factor Authentication

Multi-factor authentication is one of the easiest ways you can create a more secure account. When logging into an account using multi-factor authentication (MFA), you need to input your password and provide secondary confirmation that you are the account holder. This can be as simple as a text code sent to your associated cell phone number or a security question with a pre-established answer. More sophisticated MFA options include biometrics like thumbprints and facial recognition.

Many platforms have some form of multi-factor authentication available to users. However, you don’t need to rely on your account platforms for the service. Multi-factor authentication apps and software are available to help make every account you hold a little safer. With both paid and unpaid authenticator apps, there’s something out there for everyone.

Security Keys

If you don’t already use one, a security key can be an excellent way to add more protection to your accounts. Like multi-factor authentication, security keys create another layer of protection a hacker will have difficulty getting through. Unlike most multi-factor authentication methods, these security keys are physical hardware pieces. These secondary devices are used with your main device to access information. Without the key in place, you won’t be able to complete a log-in process or get to your saved data.

Some security keys are simple — like those that plug into a USB port — while others are more technologically advanced and can even rely on biometrics. There are security key options available for computers as well as mobile devices. Some options even combine the qualities of security keys with other password protection options, like password managers, for complete account protection.

Password Managers

Despite evidence that some are reluctant to use password managers, using one is a great way to keep your passwords safely stored. These computer programs work to generate unique passwords. They also allow you to store and manage them safely. Using a password manager can make keeping track of your unique passwords and the accounts they belong to less of a hassle.

Password managers can keep track of both device passwords and those of online accounts. Another benefit of using a password manager is that it makes updating your passwords easier — which means you’re more likely to do it at regular intervals.

Keeping Your Data Secure in 2021

As technology evolves and hackers become more capable of accessing your information, it’s important you update your approach to password security as well. Implementing these authentication trends can help keep your password protocol on the cutting edge of technology — and your information as well-secured as possible.

It’s no secret that cybercrime has been on the rise and that the push toward continued remote working might lead to an even more significant increase in activity. Properly protecting yourself and your accounts can help you avoid becoming one of the many victims of cybercrime.