Passwords are our security online. They are simply a shaky ground between data protection and an invasion into your whole world. If you have ever been a victim of hacked email or credit cards, you know the repercussions are horrendous. The truth is, password cracking is getting worse, not better. The internet even offers amateur hackers’ websites for password generators and lists of the most common passwords people use.
There are so many programs available cheap to buy which can with one click of a unsuspecting file puts you under keylogging fire. You would not know if someone is receiving your every move from a remote log in. Other ways passwords are stolen is by simple carelessness on both the individual’s part and inside companies’ security networks.
Despite the warnings for people to not use predictable, common passwords, people are still doing it. Even the word ‘password’ is the number one people use for their security. The second one is still the numbers 123456. Besides there being free software tools to help in password cracking, so many other options exist that anybody can get your password. Another area of poor judgment is reusing your password. In the last two years, “hashes” (crack able passwords) to the tune of 280 million have been dumped, stolen, and then dropped on the open web. This information is exchanged on the black market and you won’t know it until your account is destroyed.
Some do’s and dont’s of password creation to remember:
- Use a reputable password generator such as Norton Security Password Generator
- Please do not reuse your old passwords. A hacker will have a field day on all of your accounts.
- Don’t use number substitutions for letters in passwords; there is actually software now to crack this easy.
- Don’t use a short password, this is a given (yet some people still do it). It is better to string together a group of words (perhaps a song title, book line,) and throw a couple numbers in.
- Use a unique system for password recovery, like a secret email dedicated to only that. Also, sometimes the old school way of just writing your passwords down in a private notebook will prevent you from reuse.
- Some people give bogus answers to security questions, this could backfire if a year goes by and you don’t remember those answers; another reason to write your information down. The human memory cannot be relied upon to be able to remember all the different passwords cruising around in our heads between online accounts, atm’s, stores, etc.
At some point, the password circus feels just like it sounds a never ending carousal of uncertainty. The news speaks of large corporations’ customer’s credit information getting hacked. We are vulnerable, and it is up to each individual to do as much as they can do to protect themselves. As well, we should expect some changes in business security measures for the sake of the damaging consequences involved for individuals. As technology advances, so does the skills of the dark net. Staying proactive in passwords will save you from their clenches.