By Jigish Shah:
Currently, we access some online accounts and services through a username and password combination. In some cases, these accounts house sensitive information. With news of so many security breaches, we believe it is worth knowing how to protect your accounts from unauthorized access. It is more than someone just accessing your email. Once someone has access, it is easy for them to change your password, thus denying you access to your own account. This is especially critical when it comes to online banking.
Creating a strong password can help you avoid a lot of insecurity down the road. Many people don’t take passwords seriously and opt for something that’s easy to remember rather than something that will protect them. Chances are that if it is easy for you to remember, then it’s also easy for someone else to guess. About 50 percent of the time, even a child could guess your password just by checking a common passwordÂ´s list.
The easiest way to access an account is by guessing a password. You may think that you’re secure, but remember that a lot of your personal data is online and can be found with a few Google searches.
Recommendations while creating a password:-
1) No Personal Information– Any hacker can easily find out your full name, the names of your spouse or children, your pets, or your favorite sports teams. Never choose a password that has anything to do with you personally.
2) No real words– Let’s go a step ahead. Not only should you not use your name or your pet’s name, you shouldn’t use any actual word that can be found in a dictionary. Passwords like that can be easily cracked by password software.
3) Mix Character Types– Passwords are almost always case-sensitive, so use both upper and lower case letters to make it more difficult. To really make it complex, be more creative than just capitalizing the first letter. For example, do “paSswoRd” instead of just “Password”. Better yet, throw in some numbers and special characters to substitute for letters like “[email protected]”.
4) Use a Passphrase– Scratch that. Some password cracking utilities are also smart enough to use common character substitutions for common words. Cracking “[email protected]” may take longer than cracking “password”, but it will still be relatively trivial to crack because, special characters or not, the password is still “password”.
Instead, take your favorite line from a movie, song, or book and convert it. It has upper case and lower case letters, as well as special characters. It is not a word appearing in any dictionary, yet it is simple for you to remember.
5) Use a Software– The main reason that users choose passwords that are easy to crack is that they want to choose passwords that are easy to remember. It is obviously much easier to remember your building’s name or type characters in the order they appear on the keyboard, like “123456”, than it is to recall “[email protected]@”. So you can guess which one is more difficult and secure.