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Every day you use passwords to access your emails, your mobile devices and your bank accounts, or to make purchases. For your protection, it is essential that your passwords be as strong as possible in order to prevent any intrusions.

A master key

For many, a password is a headache. You need so many of them that it can be difficult to keep track – it’s like carrying around a big set of keys instead of a single master key. Too often, this is what people think when they have to choose a password. Faced with a growing number of usernames and accounts, it’s easy to believe that one or two unique passwords can be used for all of them! This is the pitfall to avoid.

Dangerous passwords

Many cybersecurity experts agree that it takes a seasoned hacker very little time to discover your passwords. Fifteen minutes or less is all it takes, especially if you have chosen highly predictable combinations. Here are some examples on the worst practices list.

Combinations to avoid!

Classics
password, sun, qwerty, etc.
Logical sequences
123456, abcde, 12345678  abc123
Words from the dictionary
The password cracking programs used by cybercriminals can figure out any dictionary word, no matter how esoteric and no matter which language it is in.
Your personal information
These are easy to guess, so avoid birth dates of family members, your address or even your licence plate number!

Secure choices

To improve password security, it is increasingly common for sites to give instructions when users create an account or choose a password. For example, they may require a minimum number of characters and certain types of characters, and they may also require that passwords be changed regularly. Here are some tips to strengthen your passwords.

Key criteria!

The right length
Not too long and not too short: 8 to 12 characters, especially if you have to use the same password many times a day. A catch phrase can also work as long as you change certain elements.
A mix of characters
Adding symbols and numbers will strengthen your passwords. For example, replace the letter “a” with the symbol “@” or the letter “o” with the number “0”.
Diversity
Consider creating categories of passwords according to :

  • The types of sites you visit : email sites, professional sites, banks, etc.
  • Your home or office activities.
Discretion
Avoid sharing your passwords with anyone! A password should remain confidential!

Strength test

Are your passwords robust enough to resist attacks? There are a number of online tools available where you can verify the strength of your passwords according to how long it will take to crack them. Here are some examples.

Examples
Time  * depending on the platform used to test
lecompte

Lecompte ou  LeCompte

LeC*ompte

XLeC*ompte

XLeC*ompte8

5 seconds

22 minutes

1 week

1 year

3 years to 2000 years

Test sites*
There are many password testing sites. Here are a few:

https://howsecureismypassword.net/

https://www.comparitech.com/fr/privacy-security-tools/password-strength-test/

http://www.passwordmeter.com/

*For illustrative purposes only, given the many tools available.

 

Managing your passwords

It’s a challenge! Consider using a password manager to make things easier for you. Designed like a vault, this type of system enables you to securely store your passwords. Some of these managers can be downloaded to your computer, while others are cloud based and available at any time. The beauty of these systems, whichever you choose, is that you only have to remember a single password!

To learn more about password managers…

 

 

Your security is important to us. Professional’s Financial invites you to change your passwords regularly.

 

For an analysis of your situation,
get in touch with one of our advisors