5 Steps to An Unhackable Password!

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India seems to have gone on digital overdrive since 8th of November, since Prime Minister Modi made the explosive announcement of #demonetization. Various mobile wallet companies have seen an immense increase in user base, we are constantly bombarded with ads on television/radio/social media about the ease of going digital.

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Its true, debit cards and wallets are really easy to use, but if we are too casual with them, they are even easier to misuse. #CyberCrime has not been on the priority list of the Police as there are very few users ( only 15% of the population ) and hence low crime rate. Now with India going digital, specially with our finances this equation is about to change massively.

We are encouraging everyone to migrate to digital platforms for our financial transactions, but are we raising awareness about #OnlineSafety? Smart Phones, are easy to hack if the user is not taking precaution. And I am writing this blog on the day Rahul Gandhi’s official twitter account was hacked!

There are a few basic steps such as a strong password to ensure your account is secure. But setting up a password is usually a hectic act, but there are these 5 basics which can help you out.

To keep your account safe, here are a few tips on how to create a strong password:

  • Use a unique password for each of your important accounts
    Use a different password for each of your important accounts, like your email and online banking accounts. Re-using passwords is risky. If someone figures out your password for one account, that person could potentially gain access to your email, address, and even your money.
  • Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols in your password
    Using numbers, symbols and mix of upper and lower case letters in your password makes it harder for someone to guess your password. For example, an eight-character password with numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters is harder to guess because it has 30,000 times as many possible combinations than an eight-character password with only lower case letters.
  • Don’t use personal information or common words as a password
    Using numbers, symbols and mix of upper and lower case letters in your password makes it harder for someone to guess your password. For example, an eight-character password with numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters is harder to guess because it has 30,000 times as many possible combinations than an eight-character password with only lower case letters.
  • Make sure your backup password options are up-to-date and secure
    Create a unique password that’s unrelated to your personal information and uses a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. For example, you can select a random word or phrase and insert letters and numbers into the beginning, middle, and end to make it extra difficult to guess (such as “sPo0kyh@ll0w3En”). Don’t use simple words or phrases like “password” or “letmein,” keyboard patterns such as “qwerty” or “qazwsx,” or sequential patterns such as “abcd1234” which make your password easier to guess.
  • Keep your passwords secure
    Make sure to regularly update your recovery email address so that you can receive emails in case you need to reset your password. You can also add a phone number to receive password reset codes via text message. Many websites will also give you the option of answering a security question if you forget your password. If you can create your own question, try to come up with a question that has an answer only you would know. The answer shouldn’t be something that someone can guess by scanning information you’ve posted online on blogs or social networking profiles. If you have to choose a question from a list of options, such as the city where you were born, try to find a way to make your answer unique by using some of the tips above. That way even if someone guesses the answer, they won’t know how to enter it correctly.

These are basic tips, but sadly not followed by many, please ensure you make your passwords super strong. Happy #SocialSurfing!

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