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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Biesiadecki

Digital Defense 101: Strong Passwords and Dual-Factor Authentication

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Sticky Note With Weak password. Internet banking, data privacy and cyber security concepts.

The Importance of Strong Passwords We’ve written multiple times about the importance of digital safety (read last week's blog here). At Novi Wealth we take protecting your data very seriously and we encourage you to do the same. However, we recognize that it might be overwhelming to know where to start. Among the myriad of tools available to protect your digital presence, the humble password stands as the first line of defense, a digital shield that can either fortify your security or leave you vulnerable to malicious intent. Let’s take a deeper dive into the significance of strong passwords and why they are a non-negotiable aspect of our online lives. Passwords: Your Digital Gatekeepers Think of your password as a virtual gatekeeper—a key that unlocks your digital world. A strong password acts as an unyielding barrier against unwanted intrusions, while a weak one exposes you to potential risks. But what exactly constitutes a strong password, and why does it matter?

Crafting Complexity: Building a Strong Password A strong password blends diverse elements—uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters—to form an intricate combination that hinders automated algorithms seeking to breach digital defenses. Instead of using common passcodes like "123456" or "password," opt for a more thoughtful approach. Combine unrelated words with numbers and special characters to create a password like "B3autiful$ky#42," which is far more secure than the straightforward "BeautifulSky42." The number of elements in your password also make it more secure. How do you create passwords today? Reference the chart to see how secure your passwords are currently.

Chart showing how long it takes IA to crack your password.

The Perils of Password Reuse Imagine you've created a robust password for your email account and use it for multiple sites. This common practice is a security pitfall known as password reuse. When you reuse passwords across multiple platforms, you create a domino effect—once the password is breached on one site, your information is at risk on any sites where that password is being used. The risk increases for sites that use your email address as a UserName. Cybercriminals often rely on this weakness, banking on the fact that a compromised password on one site might unlock information on another. We recommend using a password security manager like LastPass to generate unique secure passwords to keep your information safe.

Two-Factor Authentication: Adding an Extra Layer of Security While strong passwords form the first layer of defense, two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an additional barrier. 2FA requires users to provide two forms of verification—a password and a secondary method like a fingerprint, SMS code, or authentication app. This dynamic duo significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if a password is compromised.

Protected guard shield security concept Security cyber digital

Final Thoughts: Elevating Your Digital Armor Today our digital lives are an extension of our physical existence, so protecting our online presence is no longer optional, it's imperative. Strong passwords are the cornerstone of this protection. Crafting intricate, unique passwords for each account, steering clear of password reuse, and embracing two-factor authentication are the essential steps to safeguard your information.

Remember, each character in your password is a brick in the wall between your sensitive data and potential threats. So, the next time you create a password, think of it as more than a mere combination of characters. It's your digital shield, your first and strongest defense against the vast and ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats.


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