Managing your passwords is an important part of your online identity. When you use your username and password together, you can prove that those credentials belong to you and that any data associated with that user account is also yours. Keeping track of your passwords in the right way is important to protect yourself and your identity.
Your password also gives you access to everything on your WordPress site, from plugins to blog posts to themes and everything in between. Passwords aren’t inherently safe and can often be broken into quite easily.
But if you follow a few best practices and tips, you can make your passwords stronger and better manage the passwords you use and the passwords others use to get into your website.
Make your password unique
This one should be obvious, but we’ll still talk about it. Each password on your site should be different. Passwords should never, ever be shared between accounts. Also, everyone who can get on your site should have their username (with their password).
Make your passwords long
Another basic tip for managing passwords that we’ve discussed in other blog posts but worth mentioning again is that length is important for security.
Your passwords will be safer if they are longer. It’s much harder to figure out 111PickledCabbage333 than to figure out 12345. Even better would be if you put the numbers in between the letters.
And make sure that your password has more than one word and includes letters, numbers, and special characters.
Change Passwords Regularly
There are many things people forget about when it comes to managing passwords, and one of the most common is the rule that you should change your password frequently.
This is not something that is said to make your life harder. You should change your password more than once a year—once a month is not too much.
Do not recycle passwords
Most internet users are guilty of utilizing a small handful of passwords (or the same password) across all of their online accounts. That’s a bad idea. You should only use your passwords once and then throw them away.
If you reuse your password, it makes it more likely that an attacker will be able to get into your account by saving a stolen password until it comes around again.
Don’t Rely on Your Browser for Password Management
You should have thought about letting your browser remember your login information for you. Indeed, it’s helpful. It also works with most browsers and all of your devices.
For example, if you have Chrome on both your Mac and your iPhone, you can store and sync your usernames and passwords in Chrome and have them automatically filled in on both your iPhone and your Mac as long as you’re logged into your Google account.
But there’s a catch: all of your hopes for safety depend on your Google account not being hacked. We can assure you that that account is just as likely to be hacked as any other. Choose a real password manager instead. We’ll talk about those in a moment.
Two-Factor Authentication is important
Two-factor authentication is something you probably know about if you use Gmail. Let’s go over it quickly for those who don’t remember.
Two-factor authentication requires you to have your username and password as well as another device, usually a smartphone. When you sign into your account, the server automatically sends a security code to your device.
When you enter that code, you are let in. You can only get into your account if you put in the code.
So, unless your device has been spoofed, which is possible, attackers shouldn’t be able to get your login information. Specific plugins can be used to add two-factor authentication to WordPress sites (Two Factor and Two Factor SMS, for instance).
Be Educated about Phishing Attacks
Many accounts are taken over by what is called brute force attacks, but there are other ways that attackers can get you to give them your credentials.
This is called “phishing,” It usually happens through email, but it can also occur through your phone or other ways. Your credit card company might tell you in an email that there’s a problem with your account and give you a link to click to fix it. You click on the link, go to a website, and enter your login information. The attacker now knows your username and password.
The link in the email didn’t take you to the actual website for the credit card company. Instead, it took you to a carefully made fake that hackers had made.
Secure Your Devices
Use the correct password and change it often, but that’s not all there is to password management and security. It also means you must ensure that none of your devices have malware, viruses, or other threats like keyloggers.
In a nutshell, all of these can be utilized to steal information from your device without you ever realizing it has happened. The same could happen to your WordPress site if harmful files contain malware. This could significantly increase your risk. A malware scanner can help make it less likely that this will happen to you.
Use Biometrics for Your Phone
Most website owners need to log in from their phones or tablet at some point. That’s helpful, no doubt. But if you can do it, anyone who steals your phone can do it too (not to mention everything else that is stored on the phone and in the connected accounts).
Make sure your phone is safe by using a fingerprint scanner.
Use a Password Manager
Good passwords are long, hard to guess, and often changed. But that makes it hard to remember them. Having a password manager can make a lot of things easier.
Obviously, you need to make sure you’re using a reputable manager that uses cutting-edge encryption to protect your data. If you don’t, you might as well give attackers your credentials.
With these tips, you’ll be able to handle passwords better on your WordPress site and in other places. You should also be able to make stronger passwords that are harder to break. This will make people who want to attack you look for easier targets.