Password Protected… Or Are You?

We all use different types of accounts, from bank accounts to social media accounts. But is the password you're using really keeping your data safe?

By James, London · March 15, 2019

Phone password

Pic: Unsplash Creative Commons / Yura Fresh

We also all have to protect our online and banking accounts, and our phones and technology, with passwords or passcodes.

Let’s see if your password is secure.

The do’s and don’ts of making a password

Usually, good passwords have a minimum of 12-14 characters. You should use a mixture of unique characters and uppercase and lowercase letters. If you can, add even more characters.

It is also sensible to not use any words you would find in a dictionary. Instead, you should use unique phrases or words. You shouldn’t even rely on obvious substitutions such as replacing an ‘o’ with a ‘0’.

You should also never reuse passwords. If you struggle to remember lots of different codes and made-up phrases, you can also use a password manager to help you remember your passwords.



How secure are other methods of protection?

People also protect their accounts with touch ID and face ID, so how secure are these methods? Well, they’re quite secure, and a hacker would need thousands of pounds of photographic equipment to try to replicate your fingerprint. The most obvious way of getting into an account through this would be forcing you to use your face or fingerprint to get into the account.


How do hackers get into accounts?

Hackers often find a password for an old account that you no longer use and try it on a new account. This is why it’s dangerous to use passwords from old accounts. Most people use the same password for different accounts, meaning the hacker can get access to multiple accounts from getting one password.

Hackers also use bots which guess multiple passwords in a matter of seconds. This often works really well on weak passwords such as 1234 or password.



So, could it be time to change your password?