PrivadoVPN allows users to privately surf the Internet. Our VPN sends your Internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, allowing confidential data like passwords to remain confidential. However, if you don’t have good password hygiene, all the technology in the world won’t protect you from giving up the code to your bank accounts, social media, streaming services, and everything else. Here are some best password practices that will help keep you safe.

Length Over Complexity

A password that is short, simple, and easy to guess takes less time to break. Password crackers have to expend more time and resources to break a longer password just by virtue of it having more characters.

They don’t need to be complicated in order to be effective, but longer words and phrases are going to be a lot harder to beat than a short, simple one, even if the shorter version has different types of characters.

Avoid Pop Culture References

Another popular ploy to remember your passwords is to use pop culture references. This comes with a lot of issues.

For one, people who know you or do any research about you could guess. For example, security researcher Victor Gevers guessed President Donald Trump’s Twitter password, “maga2020!,” after only five attempts.

Moreover, pop culture, by its very nature, changes. How many people created their accounts in 2009 and might have trouble remembering “gtlsnookie” is their password if they come back to it now?

Stay away from pop culture and things that are too tied to your public-facing persona if you want a more secure password.

Proper Use of Special Characters

Special characters in passwords should never be front-loaded or end-loaded. As security becomes a bigger issue, websites are requiring the use of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, and “special characters” in order to make it harder to guess a password. However, putting those special characters at the front or end of your password is incredibly common, and hackers know to look for it.

Spreading your special characters and capital letters throughout the password provides far greater protection. 

Do Not Recycle Passwords

We’re really surprised that we have to say this, but never use the same password for multiple services. Your passwords are only as secure as the sites and services to which you entrust them to. Every site that you use a password with is another site that, if hacked, would give the intruders access to all your sites. Don’t rely on somebody else to protect all of your passwords. 

Change or Not to Change?

One misconception is that you have to change your password frequently. In fact, constantly changing your password can lead to sloppy and less secure passwords. It may appear to be counterintuitive, but changing your password often is not necessarily a good thing.

If you know that a site you use has been hacked, change the password there. But otherwise, there is no evidence to suggest that frequent password changes provide better security. 

Always Employ Best Password Practices

Using strong passwords is the first step in protecting your privacy and digital identity. Paired with a solid virtual private network like PrivadoVPN, you can be confident that your data privacy measures will keep your information safe.