- Best Practices for Creating Strong Passwords
- The Best Ways to Store Passwords
- The Benefits of Password Managers
- Tips to Stay Safe Online
These days, the average person has plenty of login credentials. The catch is, you can’t make your passwords simple or keep them handy on your desktop, as virtual crime never sleeps. You need to know where to store passwords to stay safe online. In this article, you will learn how to password-protect your accounts and the best ways to store passwords.
Best Practices for Creating Strong Passwords
A strong password is a password that is difficult for others to crack or guess. Such a password can protect your personal information and help you stay safe online.
To be strong, a password should fit the following description:
- Long – it should consist of at least 8 characters
- Complex – it should contain uppercase letters (A, B, C), lowercase letters (a, b, c), numbers (1, 2, 3), and special symbols or punctuation (!, @, #, $)
- Unique – never use the same password twice
- Random – don’t include any information related to your personal life or details in your password
You can create a strong password by following our password creation tips.
Avoid Common Combinations of Characters
Common passwords like password123, 12345678 or qwerty are easy to crack. You should also avoid using popular book titles, celebrity names or famous locations as your passwords. Only a random mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters will help you stay safe online. Something like 89UiO5!nh,Kl@ can be an example here. You can create such a password yourself or use a password generator, such as Dashlane or NordPass.
Don’t Use Personal Information
Personal details such as your name, date of birth, or the names of your family members and pets are often known to others and can easily get exposed. They are also easy to guess – for instance, social media are often quite revealing. Using combinations unrelated to your personal life and storing passwords securely will help you protect your accounts.
Passphrases are longer than traditional passwords, consisting of multiple words or a mix of words and characters. This makes them harder for hackers to guess or crack, helping you stay safe online. Here is an example of a good passphrase: Sunrise!@Lemonade@BeachTime. It is a combination of multiple words with special characters, and while being random to strangers, it can be meaningful to its creator.
Create Unique Passwords
Only 27 percent of users create a unique password for each private account, which shows that many of us neglect fundamental digital privacy tips. To ensure the security of your data, never reuse your passwords. Each account needs a separate password that is random, complex and not directly associated with you. Here are some examples:
- A random combination of various characters and symbols: jiP2$#l!@9%R
- A passphrase meaningful and memorable only to you: RightPlaceWrongBatteryLifeSays
- A complex keyboard pattern password that follows a certain combination of finger movements: q]z/a’w[x.s;1qazaq1
- An acronym password combining letters of each word in a phrase with numbers and symbols: ILuv2D@nce!!)
The Best Ways to Store Passwords
After creating strong and unique combinations to safeguard your accounts, you need to learn how to store passwords both online and offline.
- Offline password manager: Such software stores data on your device in an encrypted file, meaning its contents are non-readable and inaccessible without the decryption key or password. This is by far the best way to save passwords offline. Examples of password managers with offline features are Enpass, RoboForm, and Passwarden.
- Encrypted file: Storing passwords in an encrypted file is a convenient and reliable option. Encrypt your data in Windows 10 so that it can only be accessed by those with the corresponding encryption key, protecting it from prying eyes.
- Encrypted USB drive: You can use an encrypted USB drive for storing passwords securely. The easiest way to encrypt your drive is by using the built-in BitLocker tool. After encrypting the drive, make sure to keep it safe physically.
- Piece of paper: A piece of paper can be used for storing passwords. You need to decide carefully where to store passwords physically written down. A safe and secure location, such as a locked drawer or a personal safe, can fit the purpose.
- Online password manager: Using such a tool is one of the best ways to store passwords online. It will securely store your passwords in an encrypted database and provide you with a master password. Examples of online password managers are LastPass, NordPass, and Bitwarden.
- Encrypted cloud storage: Cloud storage services like Google Drive or OneDrive are another solution to where to store passwords. These services use encryption to protect your files. That said, you need to put your passwords in an encrypted file for an added layer of security before uploading them to your cloud drive.
- Third-party password vaults: Some services offer dedicated password vaults. They are containers or repositories for storing passwords. They can come as components of password managers, yet separate password vaults exist too. Examples of standalone password vaults are Secret Server and Credential Manager.
The Benefits of Password Managers
A password manager is a service or application designed to create, keep and manage your passwords. Essentially, it is a digital vault for securely storing passwords in an encrypted form.
Users believe the most important reason for storing passwords with a password manager is to protect digital information – and we could not agree more. Examples of password managers are LastPass, Dashlane, and 1Password, to name but a few, the most popular being Google Password Manager.
Here are the key benefits of storing passwords with a password manager:
- Convenience and efficiency: With a password manager, you get one secure location for storing passwords. A single master password is enough to access it, and the manager can auto-fill login credentials for you.
- Enhanced security: Password managers use strong encryption algorithms for storing passwords securely. Even if someone gains access to your vault, they won’t manage to decipher the passwords without the master password.
- Sync across devices: You can sync your passwords across multiple devices, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. This saves time and helps you stay safe online as you can easily access your passwords from anywhere.
Tips to Stay Safe Online
After deciding on where to store passwords and the best way to save passwords in your case, make sure you know how to avoid trouble on the Internet. Below are a few cybersecurity tips that will help you stay safe online.
Regularly Update Passwords
Regularly updating passwords helps protect your devices from cybersecurity threats. Otherwise, securely storing passwords is impossible. We recommend updating passwords every three to six months – especially for important accounts like email, banking, or social services.
Be Wary of Phishing Attempts
Phishing, the most common type of cybercrime globally, is a kind of attack where you are tricked into revealing sensitive information. You need to be extremely careful when sharing your personal details and learn how to keep safe from email phishing.
Use Two-Factor Authentication
If you are wondering how to keep passwords safe, make sure you know how to set up two-factor authentication. It adds an additional layer of security by sending a numeric code to your trusted device so that you can gain access to your account.
Protect Your Browser
Even the best Internet browsers need reliable protection when it comes to modern-day web surfing. Otherwise, storing passwords on your PC won’t be safe. To ensure safe browsing, you can use Auslogics BoostSpeed – a PC optimization app that can help you stay safe online:
- Download and install the BoostSpeed tool on your PC.
- Once on the app’s main screen, click on Tools.
- Expand Security Tools and click on Browser Protection.
- Use the left-pane menu to navigate the tool’s features. You can check your home page, clear browsing data in Chrome, protect your DNS settings, and scan Chrome downloads for threats.
Storing passwords safely is essential to prevent security breaches and unauthorized access. When deciding where to store passwords, choose a reliable option with robust security features. One of the best ways to store passwords is by using a password manager – it can create strong passwords and keep them encrypted in a protected vault.
What Is the Minimum Length for a Strong Password?
To stay safe online, you need a strong password with a length of at least 8 characters. Nevertheless, in most cases, when it comes to passwords, the longer, the better.
Are Browser Password Managers Safe?
Most browser password managers offer password encryption, providing a high level of security. That said, you need to carefully check each option’s features and limitations before entrusting it with storing passwords.
Should I Change My Password Regularly?
To avoid password compromises and stay safe online, you should regularly change your passwords. Unfortunately, over time, they may become easier to guess or crack due to data breaches or leaks. So, our advice is to create strong passwords and update them every three to six months.
How Do Hackers Steal Passwords?
From phishing and social engineering to brute force attacks and keylogging to Wi-Fi sniffing and spyware, there are various ways hackers can steal your passwords. Some of them are quite sophisticated, meaning you can easily fall victim. It is essential that you know how to create strong protection combinations and where to store passwords so that no one but you can gain access to them.