Tips to Better Password Security
Protecting your information by creating a strong password is a very good habit. So, password should be something that make sense to you, not to others.
Many people don’t realize that there are a number of common methods used to crack their passwords due to their week and commonly used passwords. Let us ask you one quick question, Is your password safe? Many of you will answer ‘Yes’ but, might be you are ‘WRONG’.
Passwords can be hacked for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways.
- If a hacker is known to you, he/she might be able to guess your password if your password is the obvious one as your pet’s name, date of birth or kid’s name. And, he may also be able to access your account if his guess is correct.
- If a hacker is unknown to you, he may try to crack your password using brute force attack that is the most common strategy. In brute force attack, a script or a program continues to try password combinations until it gains the access.
So, simpler the password, the easier it will be able to crack it.
Here are SplashData’s most popular and therefore least secure passwords of 2020.
Unique and randomly generated passwords for each account are a good idea because you won’t be granting easy access to another account, if one online system gets compromised.
The Art of the Difficult Password
Your stronghold against hackers is a difficult password. A difficult password is created using uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. Don’t use dictionary words, usernames, your birth date, license number, maiden name, or any other word that is common to you or an easy guess. The number of characters in your password increases the number of possible combinations a hacker has to try and hence, increases the time to crack it.
- 3 characters: 1 million combinations
- 4 characters: 1 billion combinations
- 5 characters: 10 billion combinations
- 6 characters: 1 trillion combinations
- 7 characters: 100 trillion combinations
- 8 characters: 10 quadrillion combinations
In 2016, Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts were hacked; he was using the same password for all three accounts. Don’t be Mark Zuckerberg.
How hackers can hack my password? This is the most common question most of us can ask. The answer is very simple, simple passwords, dictionary attacks, cracking a security question, similar password for multiple accounts, social engineering attack, or brute force attack.
So, how to make your passwords secure?
- Be sure no one watches your password when you enter it;
- Make sure you use unique password for each of your accounts;
- Your password must be at least 10 characters long and contains uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters;
- Check your password strength, you can check your password strength at http://www.passwordmeter.com/
- Change your password periodically, and avoid reusing your old passwords, at least your last 5 passwords;
- Use password management application/tool, please check our article on Best Password Management Tools;
- If you leave your device and anyone is around, always log off your device;
- Don’t tell your password to anyone. Your friend in need, might not be your friend in deed;
- Use comprehensive security software such as antivirus or malware protection and keep it updated – they may be malware stealing your password; and
- When using insecure Wi-Fi connections (like the ones at railways station, coffee shops, restaurants, etc.). avoid entering passwords. Data transmitting over insecure connection can be hacked by the hackers.