According to SafetyDetectives website's list of the "20 Most Hacked Passwords in 2023," "123456" and "password" continue to dominate the top spots. Using these passwords is akin to not using a password at all.
If you find yourself among those who rely on these weak passwords and are ready to make a change, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided some guidance on the matter:
First and foremost, ensure that your password is long and robust.
This means it should consist of at least 12 characters. Length is often the simplest way to bolster password strength.
Consider using a passphrase composed of random words, as it tends to be more memorable. However, be cautious of using common words or phrases.
If the service you are using does not permit long passwords, you can still enhance security by incorporating a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Avoid recycling passwords across multiple accounts.
Each account should have a unique password. By doing so, if a hacker manages to obtain one password, they won't be able to access your other accounts.
Whenever possible, opt for multi-factor authentication.
Consider utilizing a password manager, which allows you to employ more complex passwords and share them within a trusted circle.
Choose security questions that only you can answer.
If a website prompts you to answer security questions, refrain from providing answers that can be found in public records or easily discovered online, such as your zip code, place of birth, or your mother's maiden name.
Furthermore, avoid questions that have a limited number of possible responses, as these can be easily guessed by attackers. For instance, avoid using the color of your first car as a security question.
If you wish to make guessing even more challenging, feel free to use nonsensical answers. Just remember to keep track of what you've used.
In the event of a reported breach, promptly change your passwords.
Passwords, like many other aspects of our lives, have an AI angle. While ChatGPT may not possess the capability to crack your passwords, there are other AI applications that can, especially when dealing with short and commonly used passwords. So set aside a few minutes this week to up your password game!