Secure password policies have developed hugely over the years. Step back into the early 2000’s, where a simple one-word password was good enough to prevent users from accessing your information. Travel forward many years and passwords are typically more complicated and secure, because they need to be.
As technology has developed, we now rely on websites and mobile applications to store and look after our information on a daily basis. In fact, you’d be out of the ordinary to not have any of your personal information/data managed and stored online through an application or web platform. As useful and efficient technology has become, it has unfortunately brought many dangers to our online data. A prime threat to our online data are cyber attackers, also known as hackers. Often, a hackers aim is to gain access to confidential information to leak, steal or make a financial gain from it. For these reasons, it is vital that your online passwords are strong and as complicated as they can be.
We spend a load of time online!
It may seem shocking, but it’s true. The average user spends roughly 11 hours online every day. From online banking and shopping for products, to communicating on social platforms with friends and family, there’s no limit to all of the things we can access online. While some users may set strong, unique and complicated passwords for everything they use online, many secure their online accounts with simple and ‘easy-to-guess’ passwords… Passwords that make it a stroll in the park for hackers to crack.
The most commonly used passwords (that you should NEVER use)
It’s important to know that you should never use these passwords, for any type of online account. Many online applications advise users to set a password that’s more than six characters long and contains a variety of different upper and lower case characters, as well as special characters.
How can you make your passwords more secure?
Update Your Password Regularly – Updating your passwords every couple months is a good practice, when trying to keep your online account secure.
Never Use The Same Passwords For Multiple Accounts – Using different passwords is important, as it prevents hackers from gaining access to all of your accounts.
Use a Password Manager Tool – Using a password manager is useful, as you don’t need to worry about remembering all of your passwords. Likewise, a password manager can generate strong passwords that you can use for your online accounts.
Don’t Make a Password Too Personal – Never make a password that can be worked out by knowing your interests from social media accounts etc. A hacker can easily find what you like and talk about regularly online, and could use those phrases to guess your password.
How do cyber-attackers find out my password?
Hackers have many ways of trying to guess a online password, whether that be from mass-theft, phishing attacks or key logging. Typically, a hacker may use a process called ‘Brute-force’, which is an attack method that uses trial and error to obtain your password. It is an automated software that sorts thousands of combinations per second to guess your one and only password. Therefore, the more complicate your password is, the harder it is for hackers to find it out using a brute-force attack.
Your password should never include...
- Combinations of phone numbers and addresses.
- Date of birth.
- Any string with sequential numbers or letters.
- A pattern that a hacker could work out e.g. abc123