A password is a drawbridge to your entire digital world… don’t make it weak
What exactly is good Password Security?
Passwords are the digital keys to your online network of almost everything; friends, family, work and your financial accounts. If you take the risk and disregard the strength & integrity of your passwords, you’ll probably find that many other people also know what it is.
The aim is to form a memorable, yet strong password that won’t be easily broken. The two most important passwords are those for your email and social network accounts, if someone has access to your email, they can ‘forget password’ their way into all of your other accounts. Enabling them to scam your friends with dangerous links, fraudulent messages asking for money… Passwords are important, it may be the last line between you and a cybercriminal.
How do they attack our passwords?
There are various methods that can be used to crack passwords, below is a list forming of the multiple techniques that cybercriminals will use to break into your personal accounts:
Dictionary attacks – Using simple files that contain words found in the dictionary, you now understand why you shouldn’t use normal words in your passwords…
Brute force attacks – Similar style to the dictionary attacks, brute force also lets the hacker detect non-dictionary words by working through all possible alpha-numeric combinations, (e.g. aaa1 to zzz9). It’s not a fast process, but it will uncover your password eventually.
Rainbow table attacks – If rainbows were actually hashes of all possible password combinations for any given hashing algorithm, I don’t think we’d appreciate them as much. Opposed to the name, rainbow tables are huge, unwieldy things that require a lot of computer power.
Phishing – The simplest method, get the user to do it for you… just by simply asking for it. (Check out Phishing here).
Social Engineering – As the name suggests, the art of phishing, but gathering the information yourself.
Malware – Such as keyloggers, screen scrapers… pieces of malware that are hidden on your system, recording and scanning your passwords.
Guessing – You’d be surprised how easy it is to guess passwords, a high percentage of people don’t take passwords seriously and will often make passwords from pets names, foods, surnames… it doesn’t take a specialist to figure out ‘Jake1234’.
Never underestimate the importance of securing your data, having multiple, unique passwords for every account you access is vital in protecting your business.
How do you make a strong, secure password?
Beginning with the obvious, no dictionary words, names or facts about you, pet names or locations; a strong password is a mixture of letters, numbers, symbols and ambiguous characters. for Example, ‘D56@h]!$vVcs09yH‘. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack.
There are various practises that you should stick by in order to maximise security:
– Use Two-Factor-Authentication whenever possible
– Use a combination of Capital letters, lowercase, numbers and symbols alike the example above
– Don’t use simple, common passwords… qwerty… or Dog123456
– Make sure your passwords are at least 10 characters long
– Don’t use any speaking words, as seen by the dictionary attack, it’s too easy to crack
– Change your passwords regularly, you never know if you’ve been hacked
Choosing a password is entirely up to the user. The best password is one that doesn’t make any sense.
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