NPC News
Improving your mobile security with strong passwords

December 2nd 2013

You probably use your smartphone or tablet for a number of tasks without even thinking twice. Mobile banking and ecommerce are now normal, run-of-the-mill activities that don't cause too much concern among you and other consumers. This is because the on-the-go capabilities provided through mobile operations means you can multitask more effectively and have a more productive day without exerting too much effort.

In all honesty, however, how frequently do you think about security? Probably not that often, as endpoint protection best practices are likely in the back of your mind when you're making an online purchase through your smartphone. Fortunately, there are a number of passive strategies you can employ to improve your tablet or smartphone's overall defenses, including implementing comprehensive passwords.

Passwords can be an effective, non-intrusive way to safeguard the assets on your mobile gadget. Authentication strategies, which have been around for ages, mean that only authorized users are able to access confidential data, including payment card and personal information. Maintaining these resources has become increasingly important, especially as cybercriminals launch mobile-enabled attacks that target unprotected endpoints.

The evolving threat landscape has likely encouraged you to improve your password resiliency, as friends, family members and even major corporations continue to fall victim to mobile cyberattacks.

Overcoming password difficulties

You have likely been told that your passwords must be complex and filled with numerous special characters, as this makes the credentials harder to crack. At the same time, however, how are you supposed to remember multiple 15-character long passwords for different websites?

The good news is that complex passwords do not need to be hard to remember. By following one of three methods, you can thwart outsiders from guessing the login that protects your sensitive information.

1. Use phrases
While using special characters and symbols can be helpful to create robust passwords, long phrases can be just as intricate. Using the phrase, "It's raining cats and dogs," for example, is challenging in itself because it is composed of multiple letters and characters. At the same time, you can easily remember this catchphrase, which makes it an ideal access control credential.

2. Use a compound word
Similar to phrases, you can simply merge together several words and take out the spaces. In the above example, this would mean using "Itsrainingcatsanddogs," which may not even look like anything rational. In many cases, a long password is more difficult to break than a shorter phrase with a variety of characters.

3. Think like a telephone
Roughly each number pad on a phone houses three distinct letters, which can be extremely helpful when creating a passcode. The phrase "teamwork," for example, can be translated to "83269675." Because the digits look random and do not represent any dates, it can be harder for cybercriminals to crack.

Implementing robust passwords can be an effective and easy way for you to improve your overall data protection stance on your smartphone or tablet. Rather than shying away from complex passwords due to fears of forgetfulness, just think outside the box and create your own memorable, customized and challenging passcodes.

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