Passwords are the first line of defence against unwanted access to your accounts and devices.
Millions of people use a weak password and simply don’t even think they will ever be hacked.
Examples of a weak password.
Weak passwords can mean many things. The biggest being that it shows up on the commonly used passwords list, for example:
We aren’t limited to this list only, many hackers have a huge list of 100,000’s of passwords that they will use with what’s called a Bruteforce tool. This is a tool that will go through the entire list and check each one to see if it gains access.
Another common mistake people use when creating a password, is using something in their life as the password. Things like pet names, partner names, or even dates of birth could be easy hacked with a little research.
What makes a good password.
It’s actually very simple and easy to make a secure password, and unlike common belief they aren’t that hard to remember.
Using a technique called a passphrase, you use an entire sentence for your password. You then can mix in capitals and symbols to create something like this: “I’m n0w using a saf3 passw0rd!”, including the spaces within your password to make it even harder to crack.
There are other ways to make a good passwords too. Another common method is using a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols to create something not in the dictionary, for example: “fK6$7OyEM3”. These are usually generated and stored inside a password manager which we will discuss later. The risk with using a password this complicated is memory. There’s no way you can easily memorise something like this, which often results in people writing their passwords down somewhere, defeating the whole purpose of a password – something only you know.
Pin numbers and pass codes.
Pin numbers and pass codes can control very valuable things (debit/credit cards, smartphones, even safes/vaults), which is very concerning with how little combinations there are. So to be as safe as possible, please don’t use one of the top most common pin codes:
- 1379 (4 numbers on the corners)
This also applies to using significant dates as your password (date of birth, anniversay, etc.)
Time it takes to crack a password.
The Australian government (www.cyber.gov.au) published an excellent table displaying how time and resources is required to hack a password.