Keep nasty hackers at bay! All these crooks are always busy to find little loopholes in your security setup and get through it. After accessing your account, it is better not to discuss for what nefarious purposes they might use your account info. Email services, social networks, and community forums are hot spots for hackers to target. Not, amidst chaos and uncertainty, let us see, how, with small and easy steps, you can keep your digital accounts safe and secure.
Creating a strong password
Passwords reign as the most popular way of authorization across the web and beyond. Almost all websites use passwords to authenticate you as being you and not an imposter. There are, nevertheless, other mechanisms like biometrics, they have a long way to come before they really become mainstream. However, passwords, if poorly crafted are easy to crack. Password attacks can range from being simple guessing to complex dictionary attacks based on rainbow tables. Poor passwords such as ‘password’, a very common password, ‘qwerty’, your user name are just some few examples. So while choosing a password, it usually boils down to a few lines:
- Is at least 20 characters long. Any number fewer than this can easily be cracked using brute force techniques in no time. Especially, when so much power and hardware muscle is easily available these days.
- Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name. These being popular combinations can easily be guessed.
- Does not contain a complete word. In dictionary based attacks, common words and derivatives are given preference during a cracking attempt. So it is wiser to avoid them.
- Is significantly different from other passwords. Many users tend to have similar passwords for all the account they hold. If a hacker successfully retrieves credential information on a poorly protected site, he then can use those data to target the email and social networking account of the user.
So here are some tips to create strong passwords and remember them easily
- Use passwords of reasonable length. Something around 20 characters. Any number fewer than this can easily be cracked using brute force techniques in no time. Especially, when so much power and hardware muscle is easily available these days.
- Use a mix of capitalization. Capitalization is yet another hindrance to brute force attacks, as it simply increases the sample space, the probabilities of combinations to test for.
- Create an acronym from an easy-to-remember piece of information.
- Substitute numbers, symbols, and misspellings for letters or words in an easy-to-remember phrase.
And now, if you are still not good to remember that password, using a password manager like KeePass can help in creating and managing strong passwords.
Change passwords periodically
Make sure you do not hang on with the same phrase for long. You never know when it might have been compromised. Or if someone is already running a brute force attack on your system. Changing login credentials regularly is a great way to keep your account secure. This, for most part, wards off a majority of individual targeted attacks. And of course, the password you specify must fall in the strong category, else all this is useless.
With increasing cyber-attacks, it is very important to keep your digital assets secure. Stay safe and happy browsing!