It seems that everything requires a password these days. In fact, in this digital age, we’re drowning in passwords! Financial accounts, shopping carts, online memberships, the list goes on.
In an attempt to simplify your life, do you find yourself using the same password for everything?
What do you use? Your pet’s name? Your date of birth? 12345? The most common passwords are 123abc, 12345, password, a pet’s name or your last name.
As annoying as it is sometimes, passwords do protect us from hackers whose sole purpose in life appears to be breaking passwords.
How Hackers Crack Your Password
Brute Force: Did you know that hackers use tools that can crack a password in a matter of minutes? They love it when you use short passwords (the shorter they are, the quicker they are to break).
Password Breaches: Whenever hackers steal password data, they learn more about how people come up with the passwords they use.
Variations: The software they use is able to try all sorts of combinations, so sticking a number on the end of a password doesn’t necessarily make it safer.
Tricks: Hackers know that people replace certain letters with numbers or symbols. They know people will use certain quotes, words, or phrases.
Predictable: Think a phrase from the Bible is safe? Nope. Hackers are using dictionaries, Wikipedia, the Gutenberg Project and YouTube for all kinds of common phrases, quotes, slang and even made-up words that might be used for passwords.
How To Prevent Attacks
Your security is only as good as your password. Why make it easy for the hackers?
- Use numbers, capitals, special characters (@, #, *, etc).
- Make your passwords longer rather than shorter.
- Don’t use the same password in multiple places.
- Avoid using real words or phrases.
- Don’t use Admin as your username in WordPress.
- Limit login attempts – there are plugins that do this for WordPress
- Use a password service like LastPass of 1Password. This software allows you to have very secure passwords and all you need is to remember one master password… of course it needs to be secure.
If you aren’t already using secure passwords, I highly recommend you start today.