The pros and cons of passwords
Passwords have been used to protect secrets and privacy for centuries and so it was only natural that they be adapted to the cyber realms. They offer a way for anyone in the world to have their own private piece of data storage stored on a public medium. However like most things, they have their weaknesses, and more and more people are discovering the hard way that not all passwords are impenetrable. This is because every year thousands of people have their passwords ‘cracked’, and it costs many of them dearly.
Watching the cracks
Password cracking is when unauthorized persons recover hidden passwords from a computer system. This may be done in a number of ways but the primary one is through guessing what the password is, by using information that is common for the average person to use as a password. This would be information such as birthday, age, address or license number. The reason why many passwords are so obvious like these is so that they are easily memorized, but the problem of memory can become insignificant if an account of yours is cracked. Luckily there are a few ways to strengthen your passwords.
Prevention is better than cure
The simplest way to prevent your password from being cracked is by making it out of a variety of letters and numbers, as well as something that is not familiar to your public self. Another important tip is to only sign up to respected websites if you are going to use your private details with it. This is not just because they are more trustworthy but also because they have a stronger encryption protecting their data. Trustworthiness is also a factor though, so make sure that you do not register to unknown sites with the same password as you use with your important sites.
Another way to increase the security of your passwords is by not using keys that line up on a QWERTY keyboard, using special characters and perhaps even using a sentence as a password, utilizing the first letter of each word. For example using this sentence, part of my password could be ‘feuts’.
Stick with the people you know
Other ways of having your password cracked come from what may be called a brute force attack. This is where a program is used to bombard a login with every possible combination of letters and numbers. However luckily this takes much too long to cause much of a threat, unless your password is short. That is why it is useful to have a longer password as well as an uncommon one. Most people suggest a password which has a length of over 8 characters and Microsoft even states that they suggest near 14 character passwords. Try remembering that! Also, most trustworthy login providers have added a feature to their websites where the user needs to entry a code from a box every time they attempt to login after the first couple of tries. This too is a sign of a more trustworthy provider.
Hopefully using a password that is long, mixed, unrelated to yourself and complex you will avoid falling victim to password cracking.
Source by Saman Rashid