Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems and networks. This includes but is not limited to hardware, software or electronic data. This field is becoming increasingly significant, due to the increased reliance on computer systems, the internet and wireless networks. Due to the nature of the systems that are involved in this technology, it is also a major challenge in the world to tackle this.
Just by reading this it might not be very concerning for you if you are an average internet user. But the main reason I am writing this article is to explain to you, that why it should. You see, Cyber Security is not just about the computers or the network that enables a computer system to talk with other systems. It is also in your hand, and the smartphone that you use is also a computer. The internet you use is a network which falls under the same arena. Therefore, it is very concerning for anyone who is using any kind of digital product.
Cyber Security: What it means for an average person
Now that we have established that we all are falling under the same roof of Cyber Security, let’s try and understand what it means for us. For an average user like any normal person, the basics would mean ensuring all the accounts and passwords that we use. It is no surprise that all of us have at least 5 to 10 accounts. And we maintain or remember the passwords for them.
However, have you thought about whether you configured your password appropriately or not? I am pretty sure not. Most of us, always use accounts with similar passwords. It is sane to think that there are so many accounts we have. And we would not be able to remember so many passwords if we made them complex. However, if we do not then we are prone to threat. This is what Cyber Security is to understand; in case we do not keep our passwords separate from each other then we are in trouble. Given the amounts of accounts we have, it is hardly easy to remember the password for all of them. But there are solutions which we can use. But it will not matter even then unless we know that we need to keep all our account passwords separate.
Why should we create strong and complex passwords
The reason we should create strong passwords is to be safe from cyber threats. Now imagine you have the same password for your bank account, for your mail account and for other accounts. So by any chance, if a hacker is getting access to one of those accounts then your whole system is going to get corrupted. Not to mention, the bank account details are having the same password so they will have access to your finance as well. You might have had your life savings stored there but they will be gone in a jiffy. We do not want to have such situations. No one should have had to go through such situations.
Another big exposure we have to cyber threats is using the same passcode or pin code for all our bank ATMs. No matter what, we should never do that. None of our keys or passwords should be the same for two ATMs. Now that we are using UPI pins for every transaction we use. It is also advised that we should not keep two UPI pins for two bank accounts the same. That not only exposes us to further security and cyber threats it is also making us vulnerable to the fact that if one person has access to one of your accounts, then they would have access to all of your accounts.
How to create strong passwords
The best way to create strong passwords are as described below:
1) It should be of minimum 14 characters (Varies between website specifications where you need the password)
2) It should have one Upper Case Minimum
3) It should have one Lower Case Minimum
4) It should have one Number minimum
5) It should have one Symbol minimum
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As I mentioned in the first point, the length of the password is decided from website to website. One website might ask you to keep your password to a minimum of 6 characters and another might ask it to be 18 characters. Some websites even have their own combinations of passwords which you can follow. But what I mentioned above is the gold standard of passwords. Because, when you have such a password a hacker is going to have to try for millions of years to be able to crack your password. If you choose, you can always depend on combinations which are easy for you to read. You can also try for some which are easy for you to remember.
To give some of those examples, here are some of the passwords for your reference:
Easily rememberable:- ARLOpolmORPhOa TRionYroGyMbus Little tough to remember but better passwords:- p!@3YS3M3@eP&a @8bQ9KBN9jX45m Hard to remember, but the best ones you could use:- !3e0MGxdAjAN^K 7y*HuBuv35QDnY
How to not remember passwords but remember them and make them complex at the same time
I strongly advise against generating easy passwords just so that you can remember them. As there are free solutions which will remember your password for you. You can use them either on your computer or on your mobile device. I am going to share with you one of those solutions which you can use. You can use this software to track your passwords and save them. It is highly secure and all you have to remember is one password to open this tool. But this tool will remember all of your passwords. And you can even generate passwords based on your requirement.
I use this tool personally and I am on a Family plan. To inform you, there are three plans. One is free and you can use it either on your mobile or on your laptop. Then there is another individual paid plan where you can use it in both and in as many devices as you want. And then there is a family plan where 6 people can use the tool to use the password manager and they will be able to use it to the optimal level. Meaning all 6 members will be able to use the password manager both on a computer and on a mobile device.
LastPass Password Manager Tool
The tool I am talking about is LastPass. You can read how the password manager works here. As I explained there is a family plan where you can share the license with 6 members and there is a premium plan where you get the luxury of using the tool from anywhere you want. This tool is paid for premium and family but you can use it for your own use either on your laptop or on your mobile. With that said, I would leave it for you to decide whether 3$ per month which translates to 218 rupees is more for you than your peace of mind of using strong passwords and abiding by Cyber Security standards.
No matter what you choose I believe this has given you the ability and understanding to decide what the standards in the 21st century we have to follow. And how to be safer in this online world.
I am a 31-year-old dude from a lower-middle-class family hailing from a small village Narasinghpur in Cuttack, Odisha, INDIA. I have a post-graduate degree in M.Tech from BITS Pilani. I started blogging back in June 2014. You can check out my journey and all that I have learnt all these years on my website.