"Enter your password." If your answer is 1,2,3,4, then you are one of the 92% of computer users that need to read this article. Creating solid computer passwords that will keep your data out of the hands of hackers is a deceptively challenging exercise, especially when you need multiple passwords for multiple devices. We've put together a list of steps that will help you quickly create strong passwords, so you can get back to cruising Craigslist with twelve tabs open.
The Longer The Password, The Better
The common hacker is an extraordinary threat. These villains of the information superhighway will try to hit your device with a "Brute Force Attack." This cyber-attack uses a computer program to randomly select various combinations of letters and numbers until ultimately generating your password. Studies have shown that passwords with three characters or less can be cracked by a Brute Force Attack in less than a second. Creating passwords that are longer in length can lower the risk of your data being breached exponentially.
Rely On Nonsense Phrases
Long passwords can be made even more resilient by including random words and phrases. If your password's letter combinations are not in the dictionary, published in literature or grammatically correct, they will be much harder to be generated with a Brute Force Attack. Remember to think outside the box when you are coming up with your passwords. Avoid using sequential numbers or letters like 1,2,3,4 or QWERTY. These types of no-brainer passwords can be cracked by hackers without breaking a sweat.
Add Numbers, Symbols & Letters
Reinforce your passwords even more by including numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters. For example, you could switch up the letter O with the number zero or maybe replace the letter A with the @ symbol. Another pro password tip: capitalize the first letter of each new word in your password. This simple trick will not only help throw hackers off your data trail, it will also help you remember your password later on.
Cut Personal Info Out
As easy as it is for you to remember your birthday or your favorite pet's name, it's just easy for this information to be discovered by hackers. If they want your data bad enough, they will take the time to scour your social media pages and any other resources they can access to crack your code. Birthdays, anniversary dates, your high school, relative names, these are all perfect examples of personal information that can make your password less of a hurdle to hack.
Keep Passwords Secret
When it comes to data security, mums the word. Keeping your passwords secret may seem like an obvious step, but it's easy to accidentally trust the wrong person with your personal information. Always keep your passwords and personal info under wraps and avoid writing them down or displaying them where prying eyes can see.
Update Passwords Often
Unfortunately, hackers are relentless, they will throw everything they have at your system until they crack your code. That is why you want to change your passwords regularly. It is best to avoid using old passwords for as long as possible.
If your password is discovered and your data is breached, first contact the authorities and any other entities that will help you recover your data. As always, Experimax is available to perform a thorough diagnostic check at no cost to you which includes identification of malware.