Your passwords are you identity, whether they are your Internet Banking passwords, or passwords for your email accounts.
Only in the last 20 years has passwords and the password security become such a pressing issue. This has come about because all aspects of our lives are now connected and to complete the connection securely you need passwords.
Password hacking has become a number one concern for everyone involved in Internet Security , that includes the bad guys.
Lets look at how the hackers hack your passwords and 5 simple tips to fool them.
The most common method that hackers use when targeting your passwords is what is called a Brute Force attack and it essentially involves trying out a every possible letter combination, the more letters the more difficult and the longer it takes (hint..hint).
It looks something like this:
Now hackers are very resourceful and so have adapted a technique of collecting existing password lists from previously hacked websites or computers and compiling the most common ones and trying those first.
Humans are funny in that we often behave in similar manor, interesting research out of Carnegie Mellon University has shown that on average 30% of all passwords are common.
All of a sudden a job that would have taken months for a 8 digit password can be done in less than an hour for 16 digit password.
So what do we do about it ?
There is a lot we can do and so lets start with some basic rules from the research:
- Never use repeating parts of the password such as :passwordpassword
Try and go for as long as you: Less than 8 is BAD more than 16 is GREAT
Don’t use the same password on all your websites
Include Numbers, Capitals and Symbols as often as you can
So great now we have a password that looks something like this : Pj75$%oi87Tj*97W
Great for security but nearly impossible to remember even one password, let alone a different one for each site you belong to.
The Solution is surprisingly easy:
As modern people we have grown accustomed to dealing with longer number sets, i bet you can remember your Cell Phone number and maybe your ID number. We do this by grouping digits together in our mind.
1. Number Grouping
537 10 14 – Is easier to remember than - 5371014
2. Non Word Letter Grouping
home becomes – h0me
monkey becomes – m0nk3y
3. Relevant Symbols
home becomes – h0m3$
4. Using phrases that are easy to remember
home becomes – ilikemynewhome
5. Using Common parts to create multiple unique passwords
ilovemynewhome – mynewhomeilove
So the research shows that a combination of these is essentially unbreakable due to the time and resources required to break it. So let start to build a password with the rules that is easy to remember.
- Start with your current password, lets say – password
Make a story out of it – ihatepassword
Add a unique 4 digit number(not your birthday) – ihatepassword2010
Change out some symbols that are easy to remember – 1hatepassw0rd2010
Create at least 2 variations on it for your various sites – passw0rd1hate2010
That new easy to remember password will take 63 Million years to break with a Desktop PC. try it out for yourself with your new password at https://howsecureismypassword.net/