It’s 2021. A new decade. A new year. Protecting your social media accounts is becoming just as important as securing your online shopping and bank accounts.
When malicious people get access to your social media accounts, it can have a devastating effect on your reputation – either your personal or professional life as seen by Mariah Carey, whose Twitter account got hacked on New Year’s Eve in 2020 andTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019.
Use a Strong Password
It’s time to stop using dumb passwords. 123456 was the most used password with over 23.2 million accounts. 123456789 came close with 7.7 million accounts while qwerty and password was used by over 3 million accounts each. Other Passwords to avoid include 111111, 12345678, 1234567, 12345, abc123 and password1, people’s names, football team names, names of bands and days of the week and months too – Sunday was the most password while August was the most used password respectively.
You can create a strong password that has a minimum of 12 characters, includes numbers, symbols, capital letters, lower-case letters, isn’t a dictionary word or combination of dictionary words plus doesn’t rely on obvious substitutions.
It’s has been made easier by password generators free on the internet such as strongpasswordgenerator.com and passwordgenerator.net. What I usually do is after they have generated one for me, I go ahead and modify it to make it easy to remember.
Password managers also create for you strong passwords. LastPass has a tool for that and you don’t have to create an account with them. Dashlane too, although you’ll have to create an account with them.
These tools will not only create a strong password for you, but they can also manage the passwords for you for different accounts so that you don’t have to use the same password for your other accounts.
Some browsers like Chrome also do handle password management too for not only current accounts but also new accounts. It even has password checker that is a service that examines a user’s saved passwords if they have been compromised in any way.
Another way is through the passphrase/Diceware method. This method suggests choosing 6 or more random words and joining them together to create a passphrase which then becomes your password.