If you’ve used the password “1234” before, chances are your accounts have been compromised. Two decades ago when there were those big blocks that we called desktop computers, “1234” would be an acceptable password to use. With the vastly improved technology nowadays, this password would likely be cracked within seconds. As per a survey of individuals who had their accounts breached, 89% of respondents used a password more than once, 74% shared personal passwords and 61% had passwords less than 8 characters long (source: Statista). It is imperative to use a robust password to provide a layer of security to keep your accounts safe.

Below are some tips and best practices when it comes to passwords.

Password tips:


  • Use different passwords for each account. Although it is easier to have one password for all your accounts, it does increase your chance of having multiple accounts adversely impacted. If a hacker obtains your password, they could use that password to access your other accounts (if you use the same password). As such, review your current password situation and consider changing them if they are all the same.
  • Mix letters, symbols and numbers. When creating robust passwords, it’s best to use a mix of uppercase and lower case letters mixed with numbers and symbols.
  • Use long passwords. The longer the password, the more secure it is. An ideal password should be between 8-12 characters or longer.
  • Choose words not found in the dictionary. Avoid using familiar words to make it more difficult for hackers to gain access to your accounts. To make things easier for you to recall your passwords, try bunching random words together along with numbers and symbols such as “TigerCoffeePanamaRose1#”.
  • Change auto-generated passwords. When you sign up to some online accounts, you sometimes receive an automatically generated password. If this is the case, you should consider changing your password as soon as possible.

Avoid doing the following:

  • Creating a short password. When you’re creating a new password, 8 characters should be the absolute minimum. If you have a very important account such as bank account, you may want to consider a minimum of 12 characters.
  • Use your name, important dates or dictionary words. Hackers run various dictionaries against your passwords in an attempt to crack them. Picking a random word from the dictionary may not be safe at all. Using your name or an important date such as a birthday should also be avoided as these are too easy to crack.
  • Entering a password over an insecure Wi-Fi connection. You can access Wi-Fi over an insecure connection in many places nowadays. These includes cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, airports and hotels. Avoid inputting passwords into an insecure Wi-Fi connection as information can be easily intercepted by hackers.
  • Writing passwords down. Some passwords can be difficult to remember but writing down passwords on a sticky note or notebook could lead to breached accounts. Unless your passwords written on a piece of paper are stored securely in a vault or safe, it is highly advisable to avoid writing passwords down. Instead, you can get a password manager. Apple products have a password manager called iCloud Keychain and Windows products have a similar software called Credential Manager.
  • Never changing passwords. Regularly changing passwords can seem tedious and redundant. In general, you should only change your passwords if you think your account has been breached. A good practice would be to review your existing passwords and update the ones you haven’t changed in years and make them as strong as possible.

Other tips:


  • Avoid sharing your password. Although you may practice safeguarding your passwords, others who have your passwords may not.
  • Consider using two-factor This is designed to ensure that you’re the only person who can access your account. When you sign into an account when two-factor authentication is set-up, you’ll need both your password and a numerical verification code that’s automatically displayed on trusted devices (i.e. your cell phone or tablet).

With technology rapidly evolving, it’s important to keep informed with how to improve the safety of your everyday internet use. Applying the tips and best practices noted above should significantly increase the security of your daily browsing experience