Top 6 tips on setting a robust password

2023 07 20 · 3 min read

Now, more people are changing their passwords. Statistics reveal that 26% of internet users use the same or similar password for different systems, and a substantial 48% use the same password for both work and personal needs, simply because it’s easier to remember. 

In this blog post, our Cyber Security Architect, Tomas Stamulis, highlights the risks of such a choice and provides valuable advice on creating a secure, reliable, and easy-to-remember password. Additionally, Tomas shares some helpful tips and tricks for establishing a robust password. 

#1 Use the expression of emotions 

Passwords traditionally consist of Latin letters, numbers, and various characters, and more recently, emoticons have also found their way into password creation. Surprisingly, adding just one emoticon can significantly enhance password security, as hackers rarely consider them as potential characters.  

While not all systems may support emoticons, you can leverage all keyboard characters to craft a unique and secure password. For instance, using colons ‘:’, semicolons ‘;’, and different brackets enable you to incorporate emoticon-like elements into your text password. 

#2 Use the CAPS LOCK feature 

Tomas emphasises that seemingly challenging yet short passwords, like “H7%e*}”, those comprising a single meaningful word (e.g., “fejerverkas123”), and similar variations can be easily “hacked” using appropriate programs and computing resources. However, the way a word is written can make all the difference.  

In the world of cyber security, the combination of uppercase and lowercase letters carries varying strengths, making it more challenging to crack the password. For instance, a password like “labas123” takes 30 seconds to hack, while “Labas123” takes 2 minutes. A password like “lABaS1DU3” is already considered more complex and secure. 

#3 Write a password with mistakes 

Tomas further reveals that hackers employ dictionaries to crack passwords. These software systems rapidly check hundreds of words, so even if your password is a single, uncommon word, it can be discovered in seconds. To safeguard against this, consider introducing intentional mistakes.  

You can transform the chosen word by replacing vowels with consonants, long letters with short ones, or even rearranging the letters. For instance, a straightforward “Apple” can become a more secure “Appel” by swapping just one letter. 

#4 Encode logical phrases 

Passwords, which are especially complex but do not have internal logic, are not a solution. People just do not remember and write them down on a piece of paper they put on a table or stick next to the computer screen. It is even worse than ‘Slaptažodis123’ because anyone visiting your computer can access your data.  

Tomas advises encoding words or phrases that mean something but do not fall into the standard categories of unsafe words. Forename, surname, company name, family member’s name, name of the place where you live, or product name – all these are words that hackers will definitely check, so they should not be used in a password. Instead, design a phrase that is easy to remember and ‘decorate’ it with symbols. For example, the phrase ‘Mėgstu cepelinus’ can become a great password ‘M3GstUZ3P3LinuZ’. 

#5 Choose two-factor authentication for your password 

Despite the seemingly complicated name, “two-factor authentication” is already widely used by many people. You might have encountered it in online banking systems, where an extra code is sent to your mobile phone or a special app to ensure the right person is accessing the account. Though not all companies have adopted this method yet, more and more service providers are expected to offer it in the future. 

#6 Be generally careful on the internet 

To ensure better security, avoid connecting to personal or business networks using devices not belonging to you. If unavoidable, refrain from saving login and payment details. Always log out and clear your browsing history and cookies. Exercise caution with public Wi-Fi, particularly for sensitive data like online banking; consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for added encryption.  

In case of an account breach, stay calm, as there is a good chance of recovery with time and patience. Service providers are usually cooperative in assisting legitimate users to regain access, especially with proper proof of identity. 

Taking a few cyber security tips can help to set a solid password, ensuring your accounts are protected. Yet, if you are interested in establishing a strong level of information security for your business, do not hesitate to contact the Baltic Amadeus team for expert guidance, including tips on ensuring password security. 

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