Yes. We at GadellNet believe a strong password is the first line of defense when it comes to data security against online attacks. Passwords like password or 12345 are easily cracked. Using these weak passwords across multiple accounts is even worse. Security systems are carefully crafted to be impenetrable, but if you let a hacker right in with a weak password, you could compromise that entire system.
How Attacks Happen
To understand fully why you need to make your password unique and long, you should first understand how attacks occur. Online attacks are when someone attempts to log in to a website by guessing someone’s username and password. Amazon is a popular website, and they have great security measures in places, but imagine if someone hacked into your Amazon account. You can buy all kinds of stuff in any price range. Did you save your card information on there? They could buy a new couch, flat screen, and some pricey baseball memorabilia all within seconds. A hack to your Amazon account is unlikely because of a few factors, such as log on traffic attracting attention, but this example hits home for many.
Hackers are after data, money, and even identities. These are three very important things that could be hard to set straight after a hacker steals sensitive data, takes large sums of money, or ruins your credit.
This begs the question: who would guess your password? A program. Hackers don’t sit at the computer all day typing in their guesses to your password, they have a program running day and night, putting in all of the popular passwords.
How to create a perfect password
Creating the perfect password takes the combination of a few characteristics. Put them all together, don’t forget them, and hackers will have a hard time getting to your information.
- Combine upper & lower case, letters, numbers, and symbols
- 16 characters long to be safe, no fewer than 8
- Make up a phrase
- Don’t use complete words
- Change regularly
This might seem like a headache, but it will save you pain in the long run, to stay safe. To add in numbers and symbols and keep from using complete words, substitute a number or symbol for a letter of a complete word.
Example: trashcan Tra$hc4n
That one word isn’t long enough to be an entire password, but making those changes already makes this password much harder to crack. Add a name and a few numbers, and you should be in business. You can also take a combination of 4 or so words that have nothing to do with one another, put in some numbers and symbols, and have a strong password.
Make sure you’re updating your passwords regularly, as well. With this final password tip, you should be able to keep your data and identity safe from hackers. To help you keep track of all your unique passwords for the dozens of sites you log into, there are password managers, like Dashlane. The best way to keep track of your password, however, is to make it something you will remember. Your password is less secure once you write it down.
GadellNet is an award-winning IT consulting firm that provides full-service technology solutions to small businesses. Since 2003, we have been delivering efficient, profitable and happier workforces. GadellNet’s best-in-class engineering team is highly successful at implementing and maintaining value-add hardware and software technology.