One of our new members recently told us that prior to becoming a Prialto member, about a year ago, she had one of her passwords compromised. This was a password that she used for multiple online accounts containing sensitive personal data, such as banking information. As you can imagine, it was a nightmare for her. Luckily, the breach of her accounts didn't lead to anything too serious, although it could have.
We learned that the member had been using a password that was easy to figure out. And to make matters worse, she had been using a single password for most everything, a common mistake made by many people. Therefore, I decided to write a blog article for our members about how to create a secure password that is hard for others to guess or crack.
Prialto takes its members' security and privacy very seriously
From conversations with members, we know that few create strong passwords. A common reaction to our password policy is, "Wow, that's complicated. Can you make it a bit easier?" Well, creating a good password is actually a lot simpler than you think.
How to create a strong password
Step 1: Don't use actual words that can be found in any dictionary
Make your passwords eight characters or longer. Don't use the names of family members or pets. Instead, construct a sentence that you can easily remember. For example, if you're a big soccer fan, you can probably remember something like this:
Soccer is fun to watch and a great exercise for me!
David Beckham is a soccer star and my favorite player.
Step 2: Take such sentences and use the first letter of each word to create an acronym
In the process, look for words that can be substituted with numbers or symbols: "to" may be substituted with "2"; "for" may be substituted with "4"; "star" may be substituted with an asterisk (*); "and" may be substituted with an ampersand (&).
Step 3: Now, let's create our passwords
"Soccer is fun to watch and a great exercise for me!" becomes:
"David Beckham is a soccer star and my favorite player." becomes:
Ok, so who is going to guess these passwords?
No one. Passwords like these appear to be completely random, and are, therefore, meaningless to other people. Plus, their lengths can be adjusted to satisfy character requirements for individual accounts.
Even with unique passwords, however, it is still wise to avoid using the same password for everything. Create different passwords for different accounts. For those accounts that don't have sensitive information, you can use simpler passwords - just don't make them too simple!
Have fun creating new, strong, and secure passwords! You will enhance the security of your accounts, something that Prialto's management considers a top priority.