- Internet & the Web
How to Pick a Secure Password
Picking Secure Passwords
Picking a Secure Password
How do you pick a Secure Password? You just created A Good Account User Name that is awesome but right after it asks you to create a password to protect your account. Passwords are often overlooked and thought up quick by many of us. This is seriously not smart nowadays with the amount of computer hackers there are. What most people don't realize is how effectively a hacker can guess at a password with just a few steps. Of course, just saying a password is like a padlock isn't going to fully explain to you what makes a good secure password and what doesnt. It takes a few steps to comprehend what really happens. To do this, you must know what you've been doing, how a hacker will attempt to hack you, and what would have been a better password.
Your Passwords are Old and Easy to Guess
You are probably making simple easy to remember passwords. The reason why this is simple, you have too many things to remember and you can't be bothered with long sophisticated lines that you cant remember. You are probably using passwords such as:
All of these are very easy and simple to guess and leave you open to being hacked. Believe it or not people are using a ton of these thinking their accounts are safe (or just that no one wants them) and will be waiting for them the next time then sign in. Thats nice and all but far from the truth, even videogame accounts hold a value. Lets see how a hacker works...
The Three Major Hacking Methods
As you know hackers don't just make things happen by magic. It is almost impossible for the average person to hack any other unknown average person - but these three ways would be how they do it.
1. Knowledge/Guessing - A hacker will ask what you like, whats your favorite color etc and use what they know to guess at commonly known words. Things like this easy:
Your account Name: J.Doe
Your Password: dolphin13
"So whats your favorite color? Blue. Do you have a favorite animal? Dolphins. Man my lucky number is 17 whats yours I want to use it on a lottery ticket? 13."
2. Logging - Logging a password is relatively simple. A hacker will send a virus of some kind that contains a keylogger. A key-logger records every key you type together then send them the text file with the data. For a hacker to use this they need to know your computers IP or you need to click on them online or in email. Here is an example of what a keylogger would send back to a hacker:
^Clearly you can see what there internet path was, what there account name is, and of course there password. When you hit enter to move the cursor to the 2nd box the keylogger of course logs that key aswell allowing hackers to find passwords in large documents of keylogged type at a time.
3. Brute Force - This is your worst nightmare. This is the only way someone who has never contacted and knows nothing about you other then your account name can get your password. A Brute Force attack is a script that runs the dictionary and known phrases humans themselves add to the database. It uses numbers, symbols, and capitals. The problem with this is a secure password would take a LONG TIME to crack. Hackers can cut down on this time by having more then one computer at a time use brute force attacks on the same username. Heres an example of how this would work:
Computer reading a script:
Login Name: Andy
It just keeps trying whatever its programed to do till it is successful. This type of attack is why most people recommend you change your password every month.
Easy Ways to Secure Your Passwords
Some weak passwords can easily become secure with a few minor adjustments. At the sametime it is probably best to use a completely new one after reading this hub for all your accounts. Heres a few general tips for all passwords to stand a chance at being successful:
- Passwords should be 6+ characters long
- Passwords should contain at least 2 numbers
- Passwords should contain capitalized letters and lowercase letters
- Passwords should have a symbol when allowed (Periods, commas, underscores)
- Contain your social security number
- Contain your name
- Contain your birthday
- Contain pet names
- Contain family/friends names
- Contain the word password
With all that in mind here is an example of a way of making a secure password. Take a phrase for instance.
get my kicks on route 66
getmyk1cks0nroute66 - Medium
get.myk1cks0nroute66 - Strong
get.MyK1cks0nRoute66 - Verystrong
GeT.My_K1cks0nRoute_66 - Godlike
You can see how something simple can become strong. The weak one could fail in a few days to a Brute Force attack...The last one will take months if not years. This way its a jingle type effect that you will always remember when you say "Whats my password" to yourself and after a few times (trust me) you remember the capitalization, numberfication (made up word), and symbols you put into the phrase. Lets look at a simple one:
1Sword2 <--Medium password easy to remember almost impossible to guess.
Secure Your Password Now!
Your passwords protect every single thing you do online. It protects your money by keeping bank accounts, paypal accounts, and affiliate site accounts safe. It also keeps other assets like Stocks and credit cards safe. Think of a credit card, not only does it have an account number it has an expiration date and a secure pin on the back...why do you think they expire? The same reason you should change your accounts password every month or two.
Your password protects your online writing. A Hubpages account is both written works and an income stream. Your blog has a password. Your website...password. By securing the password your securing something as important as money...your online brand.
Your password protects your social life online. Facebook, twitter, and Myspace all kept safe by a password. Hope your password isnt bluejay or your Facebook account might be locked from you and your repetition with your friends shook.
Now hopefully after reading this you will be able to secure yourself and keep using your accounts you put time and effort (or even money) into having. Pick a great username and a secure password and enjoy your online life!