Three Tips for Improved Password Security

Steve Shillingford pic
Steve Shillingford

Steve Shillingford is an advisor for venture capital firm, Signal Peak Ventures. Before Signal Peak, Steve Shillingford spent much of his career in the cyber security field, serving as advisor, board member, and CEO to various security-related companies.

When it comes to personal cyber security, the foundation is always a strong password. Use these three tips to ensure yours is too tough to crack.

1. Do not reuse passwords– While using the same password for multiple sites is more convenient, it’s also easier for hackers, who often assume you’ll use the same login credentials across multiple sites. In 2011, Sony had to lock almost 100,000 accounts for their various platforms due to a security breach on an entirely unrelated site, where people used the same credentials they did with Sony.

2. Avoid the Dictionary– Full words are a bad idea because hackers have dictionaries, too. What’s more, they’ve got software that can check for real words as passwords. Instead, consider using symbols and acronyms.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication– Multi-factor authentication can protect you even if a hacker guesses your password. This added layer of protection requires additional verification when someone logs in from an unrecognized location. For example, if you’re using the feature on your banking site, they may send you a text message with a unique code, proving it’s actually you trying to log in.