Password Importance and Ones to Avoid

password securityCyber-crime is a common occurrence in the world today. There are countless stories involving passwords that have been cracked or hackers that have broken down security walls.

For example, Zappos.com, a shoe store, was hacked and 24 million customers had their personal details exposed. If we look at the PlayStation Network back in 2011, 77 million passwords were stolen.

The most common type of attack by far is discovering someone’s password and using it to access a computer system or database. We will discuss the importance of a password and the ones to stay away from.

Why is a Password so Important?

To put it simply, it’s the one area where an anti-virus can’t reach. If you know someone’s password, their level of security doesn’t matter. All you have to do is type the password in and you’re through every single security wall in place. It’s the master key, and if someone gains access to it, you’re in trouble.

What Type of Password is the Best?

Deloitte released a report from its Canadian branch that revealed 90% of passwords today are vulnerable in some way to hackers. Now, most hackers aren’t interested in finding out about your latest blog. They want to turn their hacking into a profit, which is why most computers are safe by virtue of being irrelevant to the people behind these major attacks.

A standard eight-character password with numbers and uppercase letters isn’t safe and it will leave you vulnerable. Let’s take a look at some of the passwords you should avoid.

Passwords to Avoid

The problem with secure passwords is they’re often so secure we can’t remember them. This is where hackers start to use psychology. In a bid to remember these passwords, users will choose common subsets of characters, such as the ‘@’ and ‘%’ signs. These can be guessed and narrowed down.

With 6.1 quadrillion combinations on a standard 94-character keyboard, hackers have to spend a year on a fast computer attempting to guess it. If they narrow it down into a subset, this time is cut dramatically.

Passwords to avoid include:

  • Any relation to personal information.
  • Common strings like 12345.
  • Actual English words.

Change Regularly

The real way to get an advantage over the hackers is to change your password once every few months. Most hackers will attempt to break the lock to your computer by using software to guess your password over and over again. It isn’t particularly sophisticated, but it works.

Eventually, they’re going to find your password, but if you change it regularly, the job becomes impossible. Each time you change your password, the potential hackers has to start over again.

Now, they might get unbelievably unlucky and their software does guess your password randomly. There’s little you can do about this, but the odds are so low that it’s not something you should concern yourself over. No password is 100% fool proof, but if you use a strong password and change it regularly there’s no reason why you should ever become the victim of a Cyber-crime password attack.

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