Creating a strong password

Creating a strong and secure online password is crucial to protect your sensitive information from unauthorized access.

Here are some guidance and tips for creating a strong online password:

1.Length: Make your password long. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Aim for at least 12-16 characters.

2. Complexity: Use a mix of characters, including uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols (@, #, $, %, etc.).

3. Avoid Common Words: Avoid using common words, phrases, or easily guessable information like your name, birthdate, “password,” “123456,” etc.

4. Randomness: Generate a random sequence of characters that doesn’t follow predictable patterns. You can use a random password generator for this purpose.

5. Passphrases: Consider using a passphrase – a series of random words or a sentence. Make sure it’s something memorable but not easily guessable.

6. Variety: Use a mix of characters, and don’t rely solely on substituting letters with numbers or symbols (e.g., “P@ssw0rd” for “Password”).

7. No Personal Information: Don’t use easily accessible personal information like your username, email address, or other publicly available details.

8. Unique Passwords: Use a unique password for each online account. Reusing passwords makes you vulnerable if one account is compromised.

9. Avoid Dictionary Words: Avoid using single dictionary words, as these can be easily cracked using dictionary attacks.

10. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication for your accounts. This adds an extra layer of security even if your password is compromised.

11. Avoid Common Patterns: Avoid common keyboard patterns (e.g., “qwerty,” “asdfg”), as these are easy to guess.

12. Regular Updates: Change your passwords regularly, especially for sensitive accounts like email and financial accounts.

13. Avoid Predictable Sequences: Avoid sequences like “123456,” “abcdef,” or keyboard patterns like “qwerty.”

14. Misspellings: Intentional misspellings or substitutions (e.g., “Passw0rd” instead of “Password”) can add complexity.

15. Avoid Public Computers: Never enter your password on public computers or networks that might not be secure.

16. Secure Storage: If you have trouble remembering multiple complex passwords, consider using a reputable password manager to securely store and autofill your passwords.

17. Physical Security: Ensure that written copies of your passwords are kept in a secure place, away from your computer or any other accessible locations.

18. Be Skeptical: Be cautious of phishing attempts where attackers try to trick you into revealing your password.

Remember that while creating a strong password is important, it’s just one part of online security. Keeping your devices updated, using reputable security software, and staying vigilant against various online threats are also essential for maintaining your online safety.

Using Wi-Fi

Using Wi-Fi, whether it’s a private or public network, requires careful consideration of cybersecurity to protect your sensitive data and maintain your online privacy. Here are some key cybersecurity considerations for using Wi-Fi:

1. Secure Your Home Network (Private Wi-Fi):

Change Default Credentials: Change the default username and password of your Wi-Fi router to prevent unauthorized access.
Use WPA3 Encryption: Use the latest encryption standard, WPA3, for your Wi-Fi network to secure the communication between your devices and the router.
Strong Password: Set a strong and unique password for your Wi-Fi network that combines letters, numbers, and symbols.
Update Firmware: Regularly update your router’s firmware to ensure it has the latest security patches.
Disable WPS: Turn off Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) since it can be vulnerable to brute force attacks.

2. Public Wi-Fi Security:

Avoid Public Networks: Whenever possible, avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, especially for sensitive activities like online banking or accessing personal accounts.
Use VPN: If you must use public Wi-Fi, connect through a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt your traffic and protect your data from potential snoopers on the same network.
Disable Sharing: Turn off file and printer sharing, as well as public folder sharing, to prevent unauthorized access on public networks.
Use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure): Access websites that use HTTPS encryption to ensure that your data is transmitted securely.

3. Network Awareness:

Verify Network Name: Make sure you are connecting to the legitimate Wi-Fi network by checking the network name (SSID – Service Set IDentifier) with the establishment’s staff (in the case of public places).
Disable Auto-Connect: Disable the auto-connect feature on your devices to prevent them from automatically connecting to open or previously connected networks without your consent.

4. Device Security:

Update Software: Keep your devices’ operating systems, applications, and antivirus software up to date with the latest security patches.
Firewall: Enable firewalls on your devices to monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic.

5. Avoid Risky Activities:

Avoid Sensitive Transactions: Refrain from conducting sensitive transactions (e.g., online banking, shopping) on public networks, as they can be susceptible to various types of attacks.
Be Cautious with Personal Information: Avoid sharing personal information on public networks, including social media logins, email credentials, or financial details.

6. Social Engineering and Phishing  (Phishing can be conducted via a text message, social media, or by phone, but the term ‘phishing’ is mainly used to describe attacks that arrive by email)

Be Wary of Requests: Be cautious of unexpected requests for personal or sensitive information, as they could be part of a phishing attempt.

7. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):

Enable 2FA: Whenever possible, enable two-factor authentication for your online accounts. This provides an extra layer of security even if your password is compromised.

8. Forget Networks:

Forget Public Networks: After using public Wi-Fi, ensure that your device forgets the network to avoid auto-connecting in the future.
By being vigilant and taking these cybersecurity precautions, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with using both private and public Wi-Fi networks.

Using VPN

Using an up-to-date VPN (Virtual Private Network) service for your mobile devices, laptops, and workstations offers several important benefits related to security, privacy, and online freedom. Here’s why using an up-to-date VPN service is advisable:

1. Privacy Protection:

VPNs encrypt your internet connection, making it much more difficult for third parties, including ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and hackers, to intercept or monitor your online activities. This is especially crucial when using public Wi-Fi networks.

2. Data Security:

A VPN adds an extra layer of security when transmitting sensitive data over the internet. It helps protect your data from potential threats like hackers and cybercriminals who might try to intercept your communications.

3. Anonymity and Location Masking:

VPNs can hide your IP address by routing your traffic through servers located in different geographic regions. This makes it harder for websites and online services to track your real location and browsing habits.

4. Bypassing Geo-restrictions:

VPNs allow you to access content that might be blocked or restricted in certain regions. For instance, you can use a VPN to access streaming services or websites that are only available in specific countries.

5. Public Wi-Fi Security:

Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, making them vulnerable to attacks. A VPN encrypts your connection, adding a layer of security when using public Wi-Fi.

6. Remote Work Security:

If you work remotely or access sensitive company data, using a VPN ensures that your connection to the company network is secure, even when you’re not physically in the office.

7. Prevent Tracking and Targeted Ads:

VPNs can help prevent advertisers and websites from tracking your online activities and collecting data to personalize ads.

8. Avoid ISP Throttling:

Some ISPs may throttle (slow down) your internet connection for specific activities like streaming or torrenting. (Torrenting is the act of downloading and uploading files through the BitTorrent network) A VPN can help you bypass such restrictions.

9. Protection Against Cyberattacks:

VPNs can add an extra layer of protection against certain types of cyberattacks, such as man-in-the-middle attacks, which involve intercepting and altering communications between two parties.
10. Secure File Sharing:

If you need to share sensitive files over the internet, a VPN can ensure that the files are transmitted securely and cannot be intercepted.

11. Safer Online Transactions:

When making online purchases or financial transactions, a VPN can provide an added layer of security against potential data theft.

12. Personal Freedom:

Using a VPN gives you more control over your online experience by allowing you to access websites and content without restrictions imposed by your location or local regulations. However, it’s important to note that not all VPN services are equal. To fully enjoy the benefits of a VPN, it’s crucial to choose a reputable, up-to-date VPN service with a clear privacy policy and a commitment to not logging your activities. Regularly updating your VPN software ensures that you have the latest security features and patches to protect against emerging threats.

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