Creating and remembering safe and secure passwords
Despite the huge advances in security technology, we have not yet found a true substitute for
passwords. They remain pivotal to any security system. Although more secure forms of
authentication are available key cards, fingerprint ID machines, retinal scanners
passwords are simply the cheapest and easiest to use. They are also the only viable form of
authentication that is available for online services.
Your Clever Password Tricks Aren't Protecting You From Today's Hackers
Security breaches happen so often nowadays, chances are you're sick of hearing about them and all the ways
you should beef up your accounts. Even if you feel you've heard it all already, today's password-cracking tools
are more advanced and cut through the clever password tricks many of us use.
Here's what has changed and
what you could do about it.
Most people are too predictable in their choice of passwords. Left to their own devices,
they often choose a password that is to short or to easy to guess.
Passwords are about their identity. They tend to reveal themselves in their passwords.
They often choose the name or birth date of a loved one; use their address or telephone number.
These types of words are easily guessed, which makes the job of password cracking straightforward.
Choosing a password
Eliminate the things we are not allowed to use
So, where do we start?
- Dictionary words (mackerel, dandelion, millionaire)
- Foreign words (octobre, gesundheit, sayonara)
- Simple transformations of words (tiny8, 7eleven, dude!)
- Names, doubled names, first name and last initial (kittykitty, nancyw)
- Uppercase or lowercase words (MAGAZINE, licorice)
- An alphabet sequence (lmnop) or a keyboard sequence (ghjkl)
- Very short words or just one character (dog, !, hi!, me, love)
- Words that have the vowels removed (sbtrctn, cntrlntllgnc)
- Phone numbers
- Numbers substituted for letters, like a zero instead of the letter O or a
number 1 in place of the letter l
- You must not use your car's registration!
- You must not a numeric password with your birthdate!
Is "md=7hniM" a good password. Yes, and No.
There is a belief that totally random passwords created by random
are the best passwords. This is not always true. While they may be strong passwords,
they are difficult to remember and slow to type. But, if you can handle that, then they
should be your first choice.
The longer the password, the more difficult it is to crack.
This decision is not always
yours to make. Some access points requiring a password will not allow passwords longer
that eight characters. You should set this number of characters as your minimum
requirement for a password.
An ideal password should contain at least one item from each of the four character sets below :
A, B, C|
a, b, c
1, 2, 3
$, ?, &
A good password is easy to remember, but hard to guess
With that in mind, one of the easiest ways to generate and remember a complex
password is to think, not in words, but in phrases.
As an example let's use the password shown above "md=7hniM"
It uses the minimum 8 characters and may look difficult until we reveal the phrase it refers to.
my daughter is ( = ) 7 her name is Mary
By thinking in phrases that are relevant to us passwords just became a lot easier.
My name is Lisa I have two children Their names are Barbara and David
That is an easy 14 word sentence to remember
Now convert it to a password
Checking your password strength
Hammer Of God has the online version
of the Password Strength Checker from TGP. This is implemented in server-side code, which means that when you
type, the phrase you are testing is sent across the Internet.
Do not use your real password
Use the same format system mn=LIh2cTn=B+D but not the actual password.
As mentioned before, A good password is easy to remember, but hard to guess
And you must also NEVER write down your password
Next ... Password Crackers
Most password crackers can try tens of thousands of word variations per second.
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