Posted 2 years 17 days ago ago by John Clark 2 Comments
Passwords are a love-hate relationship for most people. You hate the hassle but love the security. When you have to register for whatever new website you come to, how do you come up with a password for that site? Creating one that you can remember is the first thing, making it secure can be something else entirely. Are you like a deer in the headlights coming up with something new? Do you keep reverting to "test123"?
If you constantly give in to the temptation of using something like "password123" then you are putting out the welcome mat for hackers and spammers.
One company we started working with made everyone's email password in the company "test123". I kid you not. With a brute force program you can hack into that in less than a minute. I used to have a program on my computer called "Cain and Abel" and with it I could have hacked into every home wireless system in my neighborhood in less than 5 minutes each. From there it's simple to dig into every computer left running into the house for all their information. I don't have larceny in my heart, I got the program for myself in case I needed to hack into my own stuff after an amnesia attack or something. I have better ways now so I deleted the program.
May people resort to gibberish like "&*JC9)x" or something. Tough to remember and still not very difficult to hack. There is a better way that is 10 times more secure and easy to remember. Use a simple three word phrase (at least) with a space, character or dash separating them.
For example, take "spring is great" for your standard phrase and then convert it to "spring$is$great". Believe it or not, this is would take a brute force program over a million years to figure that out and much more secure the unmemorable $(sy*Gs. Even a 2 word phrase can work nicely, taking about 2,000 years to crack. That should be enough for most of us.
Yet, there is an added danger of "one password fits all" for websites or situations. If someone gets access to one, they can get access to everything. To solve this, change it up. If the site's name is "Best Way Rentals" use the first word for the company for your password, thus you have "best$is$great". Then at every site you know your password automatically and it is as secure from hackers as Fort Knox.
There you have it, simple formula, easy to remember and virtually unbreakable. Then, when I'm creating a new email for you or your company and ask you for the password you want to use, the deer in the headlights look can be a thing of the past.
What formulas do you have out there? Love to hear from you.
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Great advice. I have often used the symbols, which in my humble opinion are still better than "fido" or my child's name, etc. But the three word phrase with symbols is a great idea. Thanks.