7 Tips For Creating A Secure Password
You’ve got one for every site and every application you use–e-mail, online banking, social media sites, and your CRM system, just to name a few. With so many password protected sites to keep track of, the inclination is to always use the same password for every site or to make it so easy you can’t possibly forget it (like using Password123). Unfortunately, this compromises all of your data and makes it easy for cyber-attackers to steal sensitive, confidential information.
Studies have shown that password security is still the weakest link in keeping data safe. There are some simple things you can remember when creating a password that can help protect your information.
Cybertopcops.com defines a hacker as “someone who gains unauthorized access to a computer system.” Most hackers just like the thrill of breaking through a computer security system, but there are others who may not be as harmless. Some hack into email accounts and use all the sensitive information that they can access, for own their benefit.
Here are 7 tips to consider:
· You can’t log into your email account.
· Your sent folder contains messages that you never sent.
· Your email contacts inform you that they have been receiving spam messages
from your account.
What can you do if your email has been hacked?
1. Use special characters and numbers.
2. Mix up upper case and lower case letters.
3. Make sure your password is a minimum of 10 characters.
4. Be sure it’s not something that can be guessed easily (zip code, phone number, birthdate, your name).
5. Randomly replace letters with characters, e.g. shake becomes $h@ke.
6. Pick a sentence or phrase, and reduce it to first letters of each word only, e.g. “A Golden Key Can Open Any Door” becomes AGKCOAD.
7. Reverse the spelling of a word, e.g. partnership becomes pihsrentrap.
The following are different password lengths and types compared to the amount of time it takes for someone to hack into your account by figuring out your password:
· 3 letters (ex. “abc”) –> 0.00001 SECONDS 3 letters and 3 numbers (ex. “abc123”) –> 2.2 SECONDS
· 3 letters and 3 numbers with 2 of the letters capitalized (ex. “AbC123”) –> 57.7 SECONDS
· 3 letters and 3 numbers with 2 of the letters capitalized and 1 special characters (ex. “AbC#123”) –> 247.3 MINUTES
· 3 letters and 3 numbers with 2 of the letters capitalized and 2 special characters (ex. “AbC#123&”) –> 313.3 HOURS
· 3 letters and 3 numbers with 2 of the letters capitalized and 3 special characters (ex. “AbC#1&2&3) –> 992 DAYS
· 3 letters and 3 numbers with 2 of the letters capitalized and 4 special characters (ex. AbC#1&2&3&) –> 206.5 YEARS
Not all cyber-attacks can be avoided, but don’t make it too easy for them. Be proactive and update all of your passwords so they meet the above criteria.