Tags: Identity Theft, internet security, mobile security, online safety, password, social networking
We also say we want to be safe online. Yet sometimes our actions betray our words—especially if we’re using simple, short passwords for our online sites. Passwords with less than eight characters are the easiest to crack, especially if they include a proper noun or a word that’s in a dictionary. Hackers especially love passwords of all one character. Lose the “ilovedogs” password please.
Take a look at your passwords. Are they simple and include an actual word, or are they long and unique? World Password Day. Take the pledge and change your passwords.
And don’t balk about changing your passwords; you must change them to be safe online. Your password is your first line of defense—not only for your online accounts, but also on your devices. Be like Nike and “Just Do It!” Think about this if you’re reluctant to change them:
- Research shows that 90% of passwords are vulnerable to hacking
- The most common password is “123456” and the second most common password, is “password”
- 1 in 5 Internet users have had their email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission
Now, believe it or not, a password of eight characters, even with various symbols and no dictionary words, can be cracked. However, a password the length of “Earthquake in the Sahara” would take over a million years to unearth. Ladies and gents, size does matter when it comes to passwords.
Ditch your old passwords
They may already be on the black market, and if not, it’s inevitable. Especially in this post Heartbleed time, we need to make sure we all change our passwords.
Think pass-sentence, not password
Just four words (with spaces) will make a killer password. Toss in punctuation. Create a sentence that makes no sense, like “Sharks swimming in the shower” and then add some space, numbers and special characters so it’s “Sh@rks swimming >n The Sh0wer!” That’s a 30-word password, technically known as a passphrase, and beats out #8xq3@2P. And which is easier to remember?
And don’t use something that a person who knows you might be able to guess: If you own five black cats, don’t make a passphrase of “I love black cats.”
Here’s a fun way to make a passphrase.
Make the change
Now that you have a passphrase that will take millions of years to crack, it’s time to make use of it. Sift through all of your accounts and change your passwords, using a different passphrase for each account, and not similar, either, for optimal uncrackability.
Once all of your new passwords (passphrases) are in place, you’ll have peace of mind, knowing that it would take millions of years for these passwords to be cracked.
Remember, there’s no better time than World Password Day to change your password!
Robert Siciliano is an Online Security Expert to McAfee. He is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! Disclosures.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- 32 Million Twitter Pass for sale Add two-factor NOW
The Dark Web, according to LeakedSource, got ahold of 33 million Twitter account details and put them up for sale. Twitter thus locked the accounts for millions of users. Twitter, however, doesn’t believe its servers were directly attacked. So what happened? The bad guys may have created a composite of data from other breached sources. Or,
- Popular Passwords make it easy to hack You
Your account passwords should be as unique as your fingerprint—to make them less hackable by crooks using password-guessing software that can run through millions of possible combinations in just minutes. And if you have an easy password, there may be a hit within 10 seconds. Think this software can figure out your password of “password1” or
- Check out Google’s Password Alert
Cyber crooks have phony websites that masquerade as the legitimate site you want to log onto. They’ve spun their web and are just waiting for you to fly into it. Google now has Password Alert, which will tell you if you’ve landed into such a non-Google web. For the Chrome browser, this extension will prompt the
- The Password Reset Isn’t How to Remember a Password
Consider a keychain for a moment. For most of us, a keychain holds all of our necessities such as home keys, car keys, work keys and even forgotten keys, that we aren’t quite sure what to do with. Now, think about this. What if your keychain had keys that look identical, but each key only
- Passwords in Real Life: Don’t be Lazy
It’s tough being responsible sometimes. And managing responsibilities for what is precious in your life usually takes a little extra thought. Let’s say you’ve just welcomed a beautiful set of triplets into the world. Lucky you . . . and lots to managed! But, you wouldn’t give all these babies the same name simply to