10 Tips to Secure Passwords by Robert Siciliano

15/02/2015 07:23

Ever wonder just how hackers bust into systems and cause destruction? One reason is because people are still using weak passwords. While your pet’s name and wedding anniversary dates are easy to remember and sentimental to use, this approach makes a hacker’s job all too easy. Here are 10 things you should know about passwords.

1- Think of a memorable phrase, then abbreviate it, such as, “My all time favorite movie is Jaws which I’ve seen 19 times.” The password would then be: MatfmiJwis19t.

2- Don’t stick to just letters and numbers. A “character” can be any number of signs. For an even stronger password, add some random characters: MatfmiJ&wis19t!

3- The “dictionary attack” is when a hacker applies software that runs through real words and common number sequences in search of a hit. So if your password is 8642golfer, don’t be surprised if you get hacked.

4- A super strong password may be 12 characters, but not all 12 character passwords are strong. So though 1234poiuyzxc is long, it contains a number sequence and keyboard sequences. Though longer means more possible permutations, it’s still smart to avoid sequences and dictionary words.

5- Another tip is to create a password that reflects the account. So for instance, your Amazon account could be MatfmiJ&wis19t!AMZ.

6- Opt for sites that offer two-step verification. A hacker will need to have possession of your phone or e-mail account in order to use your password, because two-step requires entry of a code that’s sent to your phone or e-mail.

7- If you struggle to remember your passwords, you can store them in a cloud where there’s two-factor authentication. But don’t stop there; preserve your passwords in hardcopy form.

8- A password manager will make things much easier. With one master password, you can enter all of your accounts. Google “password manager”.

9- Don’t check the “remember me” option. Having to type in your password every single time means added protection.

10-Never use the same password more than once, because if that account is hacked, and that password is for three other accounts, you’ll get quadruple-hacked.