PROTECTING YOUR PASSWORD AND LOGGING ON SECURELY
Hackers who know your password do not have to resort to technological exploits; they can log on and do anything that you can do on the computer or network. Keeping your password secret is one of the most important things you can do to protect against security breaches.
TIPS FOR CREATING STRONG PASSWORDS
- Do use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols.
- Do not use words that are in the dictionary, including words in foreign languages. Dictionary attacks try these words and combinations of them.
- Do not use sample passwords that you see in security articles or books, even if they are exceptionally complex.
- Do select a password that you can type quickly, to minimize the chance of someone discovering it by watching over your shoulder when you type it. However, do not use common key sequences such as qwerty.
- Do not use personal information for your password. Social security numbers, driver ̳s license numbers, phone numbers, birth dates, spouse names, and pet names are all factual information that can be found out by others.
- Do not substitute numbers for letters to make words (for example, s0ph1st1cated). Hackers are aware of this trick.
STRONG SECURE PASSWORD
KEEPING PASSWORDS SECURE
After you create a strong password, you must keep it secure.
- Do change your password on a regular basis, even if your network policies do not require you to do so. Always change your password if you suspect it might have been compromised (for example, if someone was standing over you when you typed it).
- Do not save your password(s) in a file on your computer that can be read by others. Do not use features that allow you to remember passwords for critical applications or sensitive web sites.
- Never share your password with anyone else.
- Do not write your password down. This is the reason why you need to create a password that is easy for you to remember. If you disregard this advice and do write it down, keep the written copy in a locked off-site container.
- Do not use the same password for multiple purposes. For example, some people might use the same number combination for their ATM PIN, network logon password, e-mail password, and for all protected Web sites. If this password is cracked, all of your accounts and activities will be compromised.
TOP MOST COMMON PASSWORDS OF ALL TIME REVEALED–
Another year goes by, and according to a recent security survey the most commonly hacked password is still: ―password. most commonly used (and therefore worst) passwords, culled from a hacking incident that took place in December at RockYou.com, a photo-sharing and slideshow site are below. Reportedly, 32 million usernames and passwords were breached. (RockYou.com issued a statement indicating that it temporarily shut down its platform after the incident, and now employs encryption technology.)
The most common passwords are:
The shortness and simplicity of passwords means many users select credentials that will make them susceptible to basic, brute force password attacks… Ironically, the problem has changed very little over the past twenty years. In 1990, a study of Unix password security revealed that password selection is strikingly similar to the 32 million breached passwords. Just nine-ten years ago, hacked Hotmail passwords showed little change. This means that the users, if allowed to, will choose very weak passwords even for sites that hold their most private data.
Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords. Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft. If you have a password that is short or common or a word in the dictionary, it’s like leaving your door open.
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