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Image by Tim Sandle of a computer being used at work.

According to a survey compiled by the company Uswitch.com, many people practice poor password management. However, there are a number of good practices that users can consider in order to improve their password hygiene.

Uswitch.com has provided Digital Journal readers with some simple safety and security tips around passwords to help keep accounts secure:.

Password dos

It is recommended that people spell out a memorable phrase using a mix of numbers, symbols, and acronyms.

For example: T3rRy550c1alMed!Ac1234 (Terrys Social Media Account)

It is also possible to use the above approach and to customise this for each website that is regularly visited or computer package used. It is also useful, to ward of hacking threats, to make the password as you can and use lowercase, uppercase, numbers, and symbols in every password.

Another tip for recalling passwords is to visualise the keyboard as a canvas to draw or write something that is memorable to the user.

If this carries vulnerabilities, it is possible to use a password manager.

Password don’ts

In terms of bad practice, it is always risky to write the password down. This means not writing the password on paper, not typing it into an email, not anywhere. It is also important to never tell any other person your password.

It is also important not to reuse passwords across accounts and to avoid using the names of family members or anything obvious, like memorable keyboard paths (the best – or most notorious examples being ‘123456’ or ‘qwerty’.

Nick Baker, broadband expert at Uswitch.com explains to Digital Journal: “It’s apparent that people are still making simple mistakes when it comes to choosing a password, whether it’s including personal information or including simple, out of date combinations for logins.”

Bakr adds: “As most of our lives are stored online, it’s never been more important to ensure that our private data is protected, and having a strong password is the first line of defence against hackers.”

Acknowledging memory issues, Baker proposes: “Many people struggle to remember their log-ins and often revert to using the same one on repeat, which tends to lead to poor password strength. Using two-step authentication or password managers can be a good way to ensure your data is secure from hackers, without having to share or write down your information.”

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