World Password Day is really more of a reminder to be aware of the important role that our passwords play in keeping our information safe.

Since funeral directors work with a lot of personal information, we thought it would be prudent to share a few tips for password security.

Start By Securing Your Email Address

Most of us have found ourselves locked out of our email one way or another. It’s a nuisance to regain access, so imagine what would happen if someone else managed to take control of our account. It wouldn’t be good.

Today’s as good a day as any to change your password if it’s been awhile.

If your email provider offers it, you can set up two-step authentication. This will require a combination of your email address, password, and an additional code that’s provided via SMS or using an authenticator app on your smartphone. The code cycles on a regular basis, adding an extra challenge level for someone trying to access your account.

Many email providers make it easy to set up. Here are some helpful links:

At some point, you’ll be prompted to download some backup keys. You should do this and keep them somewhere safe in case your phone is lost, stolen, or falls out of your pocket into the sewer.

Use A Password Manager

Tools like KeePass, LastPass, and Dashlane are free and offer secure password storage. Most of them can also generate a unique password so that you’re not sharing passwords between accounts.

One of the biggest risks with reusing passwords is that if someone gains access to one account, they can gain access to others.

The added benefit of a password manager is that you can sync your credentials across your devices. Super helpful for the 25 sites that we have, on average, requiring login.

Don’t Make Your Password Easy To Guess

A great password is hard to guess and easy to remember.

There are many different ways to create a strong password, but one tactic is to string together four unrelated words, adding some embellishment using special characters and numbers.

Use things in your workspace. For example, my desk has a mouse, a pen, a sticky note, and some water.

Mous3PEN$tickyw@ter is a strong password that (apparently) would take 552 quadrillion years to crack. I don’t know who did the math on that, but you can bet it’s easier to remember than something like Tv@bAyGMVKS8Y!16ojS and it’s just as secure.

You should also change your passwords regularly. There’s no absolute rule about how frequently this should be, but change them with the seasons at least.

Keep Your Smartphone Secure

Most of us do this already, but it’s a really good idea to have a PIN or fingerprint unlock on your smartphone.

Ten years ago, a stolen phone was an expensive inconvenience. Now, it’s a security nightmare. All those apps that we love to use. Our email. Banking tools. It’s all there.

Four to six digits that aren’t your birthday, address, anniversary, or the numerical ‘spelling’ of your name will work perfectly fine.