Passwords, The First Line of Defence

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As proud Smart Home users and specialists ourselves, we’re all too familiar with the stories of people who’ve had their home security cameras hacked, or all of their data breached because someone was able to get onto the WiFi. Your home is your castle, and the one place you want to be safe and secure, so it’s no wonder that these news stories make us nervous. However, there is a quick and easy way to increase your home security: using strong and secure passwords.

The First Line of Defence
Smart Home devices often rely on the internet so the security of your devices and accounts, and the first line of defence against hackers are your passwords. Having strong, hard-to-guess passwords makes it that much more difficult for someone to gain access to your accounts and even your devices.

Unfortunately, old habits die hard, and millions of people still use common phrases like “123456” “qwerty” and, unbelievably, “password” to protect their accounts and data. In fact, analysis by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre found that the password “123456” was used on 23 million breached accounts. If this sounds like you, it’s time to update to something a little stronger.

Building a Strong Password
What do we mean by strong? Well, there’s a couple of things to take into consideration. According to Scientific American, it takes 62 trillion times longer to crack a 12-character password than a 6-character password, so length is certainly a factor here. The more abstract you can make it, including a mix of different types of characters, the more secure that password is. After all, there’s a reason Google Chrome and Safari recommend passwords that are intelligible strings of unrelated characters – they’re much harder to crack! That being said, there’s also benefits in basing your password on a related phrase or acronym, as it’s much easier to remember this yourself.

With the amount of sites and services that we need passwords for – both at work and at home – it’s hard to keep track of them! That’s likely why 52% of people reuse passwords across multiple sites, per a 2019 Google report. Make things easier for yourself by using one of the many password management systems out there. Platforms like LastPass only require you to remember one master password, while storing all of your others safely and securely. If you’re getting serious about your online security (as we think you should be!), we definitely recommend using a password manager.