Change Your Password Right Now If You’re Not Using These Tips

In celebration of World Password Day, we want to provide you with an arsenal of knowledge to ensure you have the strongest passwords possible.

But how can you be sure that the passwords you’re choosing are really strong enough?
Take these for example:  Zdhkqjbu83, lw;62v74y, 74Xmbgdapw. Are you really secure with these passwords? 

Keep on reading to see if you’re taking all the necessary precautions.

Someone logging in to their Instagram account with a strong password.

We often see randomly generated passwords that come with our Internet routers or newly purchased mobile applications. These seemingly random combinations look very secure due to their nonsensical appearance. In reality, they each have a pattern of composition, rendering them equivalently easy for a hacker to discern as a combination padlock.

Is your “strong” password actually extremely predictable?

  • Are you using the same password for multiple accounts? This is a huge no-no. If a data breach reveals one of your passwords, hackers can then try to use this password to log into any one of your accounts.
  • Are you using “transformation” variations of the same password across multiple accounts? Adding numbers/characters, replacing a letter with a similar-looking character, as well as adding, deleting, or changing the order of characters are predictable.
  • Are you creating your password based on website or company guidelines? “This password must contain 1 number, 1 capital, 1 symbol, and 8 characters.” – predictable!

FixMeTip: Are you using one of the worst passwords of 2020? Find out HERE (and then change your password).

An image of a combination lock which represents the passwords you need on your computer.

How to Make a Strong Password even Stronger

Most users follow the basic security guidelines when creating a password, but here are some tips to avoid predictability and ensure your strong passwords are even stronger:

  1. When possible, choose a password 12-15 characters in length.
  2. Use a different special character you’ve never used before.
  3. Avoid using dictionary words, slang, places, common phrases, email addresses, or names.
  4. Turn a memorable phrase into an acronym. ex. “When I moved to Fake City, I lived with 5 roommates and made 14$ an hour”, becomes: WimtFC,ilw5ram14$ah.
  5. Create phrases by combining random unassociated words. These should not make sense at all – ex: “AsphaltCollegeLaughsDog”. 
  6. Use Chrome Sync – Chrome Sync can save your bookmarks, history, passwords, and other settings securely to your Google Account and allow you to access them from Chrome on any device — including the StartMeStick!

FixMeTip: Malware can also leave your account information and passwords vulnerable, so be sure to run a FixMeStick scan every month!

An image of the Google icon to explain how to use Chrome Synnex to save your passwords.

What is Chrome Sync?

Google Chrome lets you sync your browsing activity across any device – bookmarks, history, passwords, and extensions – sync from your Google account, creating a seamless experience on any device.

You can choose what information you want Chrome to sync – be it everything, just passwords, or somewhere in the middle. This makes creating strong, unique passwords easy as they’re automatically synced across your devices.

Most of us have an average of 200 passwords to remember. This is a lot of opportunities to forget which password we used. Chrome Sync makes this easy.

I’m not tech savvy, will I be able to use Chrome Sync?

Our team uses Chrome Sync and we love it! We trust it for our friends and family and that’s why we are recommending it to you. Plus it works seamlessly with the StartMeStick.

FixMeTip: Click the link here to learn how to turn on Google Sync so that it works on your StartMeStick.

An image of the StartMeStick plugged in. You can store all your passwords with Chrome Sync and have them accessible on the StartMeStick.

What is the StartMeStick?

The StartMeStick is a fast, private, and secure operating system on a stick – it breathes a new life into your old computers. Simply plug it in and you can do everything you want online with the StartMeStick! None of your data is stored or saved, therefore none of your accounts are vulnerable. Simply log in to your Google account to access all of your saved Google Sync passwords.

You can learn more about the StartMeStick here.

What other precautions do you take to ensure your passwords are secure? Let us know in the comments below!