- Internet & the Web
Protect yourself online and pick better passwords that are easy to remember, but harder for hackers to crack.
It seems that a lot of people are doing the natural thing when registering for websites. We select passwords that we know are easy to remember. Fair enough. However, this could be a mistake. We can be hacked very easily from websites that we visit every day. Our passwords are being used against us, but that is nobody's fault but our own.
I know hackers can be putting their time into better use, but unfortuantely, these are the evil geniuses who love living on the internet.
The truth about our passwords
Do you know that every time you register for a website, hackers from across the world can usually guess what our passwords are? People on Facebook are vicitims of this every day.
This is because hackers use what is called the dictionary attack and it is exactly what it sounds like. Hackers have a list of dictionary words in 25 foreign languages and can usually guess your password if it is a normal word in your language.
For example, if your password is something like "new york" or "airplane", hackers can guess that.
The most common "Bad" password ideas
- our names
- our social security number
- our children's names
- ordinary words in your language (again called a dictionary attack)
- favorite sports team
- job name
- business name
- the word "password" (really dumb and more common than you think).
- consecutive numbers (like 123456)
If you are using any of these password schemes, change your password immediately!
How to create GOOD passwords
Can you remember a password like 81jo23pKVcWy5t4RqMzm?
I did not think so, but neither can hackers. The trick is to create a password that YOU can remember, but not hackers. This is easier than you think and here is how you do it:
Use a password that contains the initials of your favorite saying or create a sentence that only YOU know and take the initials. Then, change some of the letters to numbers that look like that letter.
Substitute numbers and symbols for initials like this:
- + for T
- 3 for E
- 1 for I
- 5 for S
- 0 for O
- 8 for H (just because eight sounds like the letter H)
- 6 or & for G
- $ for S
- @ for the number 0
- % for X
Can you think of more?
Guidelines for creating good passwords
Method for creating a memorable, but complex password:
- Start with the initials of your favorite phrase, saying, movie title, book title.
- Mix the case (upper and lower)
- Add at least 2 numbers to it. The numbers should not be consecutive
- Substitute symbols and numerals for some letters
Some examples of GOOD passwords
Sw3RoTs = Star Wars 3 Revenge of the Sith
ArSgnM = A rolling stone gathers no moss
dOoaywhTdOY - Do Onto Others As You Would Have Them Do Onto You
One of my passwords was the first initials of my first cousins on my mother's side of the family in birth order with alternating case and a two digit number. How's that for a password?