Every year, millions of accounts are hacked, from facebook to your checking account, all the way up to databases used by businesses. There are a few steps you need to put in to place; but you need to start with a strong password.
It seems there are people out there who really don’t take this seriously, if your password is 123456 or Password, I’m talking to you. Do you honestly think someone trying to figure out your password is sitting at a computer, typing in every combination? I hate to tell you this, but there are many software programs out there designed specifically to run through the gamut of possible passwords. I am relatively sure the settings are set to check the 10 most common passwords first.
For 2018, this was the list:
It is sad that so many people take something so important so lightly and then are shocked when they are compromised. Others say they can’t trust the internet and so they don’t do anything online. If you have the proper tools in place, it can be a secure environment. For the most part, these programs spend so many minutes on one account and move on.
It has been found the best passwords are not just those that are random numbers and letters, but ones that are multiple, unrelated words, and if the site calls for it, a couple of special characters thrown in. Honestly, if the site doesn’t call for numbers or special characters using multiple unrelated words works wonderfully. Why unrealated? If you have certain phones, when you text someone, your phone tries to predict the next word, to save you key strokes. So, when I type a text and say “How are you”, in my prompts, “doing”, “gonna”, and “feeling” all pop up as possible suggestions for the next word. The hacking software does the same thing.
I happened upon a little helper at howsecureismypassword.net. Now, just as an extra measure, I really still wouldn’t just type all my current passwords in to this site, but you can get an idea of what are good passwords and bad passwords. For instance, I typed in iloveyou as a password. Look at the results:
Then, I typed I Love You:
And you think, okay, three years, they would probably skip over mine, but new software is emerging every day. 3 years today could be 10 minutes tomorrow, and as more people batten down the hatches, the more desperate the hackers will become.
So, my third try: I lOve yOu:
Again, three years. So now let’s try just 3 totally unrelated words: vase pencil clock:
That one might take a while for even software advancements to catch up with. And actually, it is such a silly combination, you will remember it.
A strong password is the first step to securing your online presence. In the next few blogs, we will share more tips, such as password managers (so that great password you just created isn’t taped to your computer screen!) and two factor authentication, to just boggle hackers minds a bit more. Hope you come up with a great password- and then set yourself a schedule to CHANGE IT!
Have a great day computing!