How important is a strong password?

Passwords provide the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your computer and personal information. The stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. You should maintain strong passwords for all accounts on your computer.

Unauthorized access is a potentially major problem for anyone who uses computers or high-tech devices such as smartphones or tablets. These break-in victims’ consequences can include the loss of valuable data such as presentations, emails, and music. Victims may also have their bank account information, money, or even their identity stolen. Moreover, unauthorized users may use someone else’s computer to break the law, putting the victim in legal trouble.

Cybersecurity experts continually identify the use of strong, unique passwords as one of their top recommendations. However, this is also one of the least commonly followed recommendations because unless you know the tricks, it’s difficult to remember strong, unique passwords for every login and website.

A strong password consists of at least 10 characters and includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. A unique password is a password that is only used with one account.

Secondly, when malicious cyber threat actors can’t easily find or guess the password, they can use a technique called brute-forcing. This is a technique where they try every possible password until the correct password is identified. Computers can try thousands of passwords per second, but for this technique to be worthwhile, the malicious cyber threat actor needs the password to be easy to identify, which is why a strong password matters. The stronger the password the less likely brute forcing will be successful. You’d probably benefit from a password manager help.

The most-used password found in data breaches is still “123456”, according to data from a cybersecurity firm, with “123456789” in second place. Some of these passwords can take less than a second to be crack – do yourself a favor and utilize a unique password.

Mathews IT recommends the use of LastPass as a password manager to increase your cyber footprint security and always to utilize 2FA (two-factor authentication) where applicable.