Today’s password cracking technologies are so more powerful than ever. It’s hard to imagine how powerful they are if you are a non-technologist. If you’re involved in technology, you probably know what this exactly means!
What are the ways hackers can crack your password?
Some can use brute force attacks by utilizing super-powerful processors. They can easily crack an 8-character password with just a few hours only! These processors have the ability to try hundreds of billion guesses per second, literally!
Another way is by using dictionary attacks. The attacker basically tries to crack your password using a huge list of popular words, like “P@$$w0rd” and “abcd1234”, plus other words. These words are used everywhere so hackers can guess it very easily.
The last way is phishing. Hackers can trick users by, for example, sending them messages or emails telling them that their credit or debit card has something wrong, and they need to fix it. This message or email may contain a fake link or an attachment that contains malware. Users will not always notice that, so what happens when they open the link or attachment? They are hacked immediately! Hackers at that moment have got access to the user’s device, and they simply can access everything inside the device.
Now, with all these hacking methods exist, how can you protect your passwords?
The first necessary thing to do is to create an unbeatable password. This password should be so hard, smart and complex that no one can ever crack. These are the steps that you should take to make a hard, smart and unbeatable password:
1. Make it long, with a minimum of 20 characters. Don’t make it fewer than that and take this seriously, it will be easily crackable. Having more characters in your password is even better.
2. Try to combine a lot of complex unrelated words into one. But be careful! There are a lot of bad examples when it comes to password combinations. One is “P@$$w0rd” which is, unfortunately, used by a lot of people. Password crackers can easily guess these types of passwords, as they are very popular, not smart or complex enough.
3. Use a mix of characters. Once your complex sentence is created, try to swap some letters, or manipulate them by replacing them with special characters that look similar, like using (@) instead of (a), ($) instead of (s), (!) instead of (i) and other examples.
4. Avoid passwords that contain this information:
– Pet names
– A notable date that is related to your life or family members
– Your family names
– A favorite holiday
– Your favorite hobby
– The word “Password”
In other words, don’t use a password that contains ANY personal information. Always use words that are not related to you or to someone close to you.
5. Use different passwords with different patterns for every account. If one account gets breached, then hackers can’t guess all your other passwords.
6. Use a secure and encrypted password manager so you don’t have to remember all your passwords! Those apps store all your passwords in an encrypted file that is secured with a master password, so no one can get their hands onto your passwords. Great examples are “KeePass” and “Firefox Lockwise”.
If it’s painful for you to create complex passwords manually, use a password generator!
Password generators are sometimes included with password managers, but they can also be separate apps. They generate very complex and long passwords randomly, so hard that it’s really difficult for hackers to crack it, even by using strong password cracking methods.
Want even extra protection?
Use 2-Factor Authentication too! When you type your username and password, 2FA requires another passphrase you have to enter, so no one can access your account if they have your primary password.
2FA can be done by sending the passphrase to your email or phone number, or you can install a 2FA app that connects to your account and generates 2FA codes for you. Examples are “Authy”, as well as “Google Authenticator” that is available for iOS and Android phones.
These are the most necessary things you should know to protect your password from hackers. When hacking techniques are getting so much powerful, we should obviously take extra steps and actions to protect our data. Your data means your valuable things, your memories and your whole life. Take care of it!