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Cybersecurity 101: Why Choosing a Secure Password Is So Important

Read tips on creating a secure password and learn why a strong password is important when it comes to keeping your information safe.

Strong passwords are of the utmost importance. They protect your electronic accounts and devices from unauthorized access, keeping your sensitive personal information safe. The more complex your password, the more protected your information will be from cyber threats and hackers. So how can you make sure the passwords you use don’t jeopardize your security? Here are some tips on creating a secure password that can help safeguard your information.

 

Cybersecurity 101: Why Choosing a Secure Password Is So Important

1. Use two-factor authentication (2FA).

2FA is an additional security measure that requires you to provide more information than your password alone. This can be an assigned personal identification number (PIN), a code sent to your e-mail or mobile phone, or a fingerprint or voiceprint. Though not available across all accounts and devices, you should use 2FA whenever possible to further protect your information.

2. Incorporate numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters.

Hackers use programs that cycle the most common, simplest passwords used. Because of this, your password should include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to increase its complexity. The more complex, the safer the password.

3. Make sure your password is at least eight characters in length.

Sometimes, hackers use a brute force method to gain access to your accounts and devices. However, the longer your password is, the less likely it is for this cyber threat to occur. Complex, lengthy passwords take too much time to hack—so cyberterrorists are less likely to target these.

4. Use an abbreviated phrase or saying for your password.

Choosing a password that’s easy to remember makes sense, and often can be done safely. Pick a phrase that’s memorable to you, and then create a secure password around it. For instance, the phrase “cup of joe” could be abbreviated to (uP!0F*J03#.

5. Change your password regularly.

The longer you use the same password, the greater the risk that it will become compromised. Update all your account and device passwords periodically and be sure that the new password is totally different from the original. Recycling old passwords increases the likelihood of successful cyberattacks.

Earn Your Master’s in Cybersecurity and Advance Your Information Technology Career

Staying safe and secure online is such an important priority in the U.S. that in 2004, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security teamed with the National Cyber Security Alliance to establish National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM).1 Held each October, the initiative is aimed at helping families protect their homes against cyber threats, educating the public on careers in cybersecurity, ensuring information assurance and online safety at work, and increasing national security. Walden—an accredited university—is an NCSAM Champion and offers degree programs at the bachelor’s, master's, and doctoral level in cybersecurity, information technology, and information systems. These programs are aimed at helping answer the world’s call for qualified cybersecurity professionals to handle the growing dependence on information systems. Explore Walden’s MS in Cybersecurity and see how you can improve your skills in order to better protect the critical infrastructure and cyber operations of organizations.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online information technology degree programs for working professionals. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

1Source: https://staysafeonline.org/ncsam/history

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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