Your password should never include a word that can be found in the dictionary. It should be longer and more jumbled with a mix of capital letters and numerical sequences. We all know this. When we hear the warnings that hackers have been successful in stealing usernames and password combinations, we know we should change our passwords…again. But then we forget about it.
With so many passwords to remember, we become complacent about changing those security features. We have passwords on our e-mail, on eBay, on PayPal, on work programs, on your banking, etc. Further, we are told that no two of those passwords should be the same. It is easy to see why we nod our heads and then ignore the advice.
Unless you notice something funny about your bank balance or your credit card account. More and more Internet users bank, shop and pay their bills online. And why not? It is easy, convenient and for the most part very secure. However, we humans are the weak link in the security chain. We choose easy to remember passwords, which are the easiest for hackers to break.
All the more reason to be diligent about secure passwords for your own credit protection. If you continue to ignore the warnings to change and improve your passwords now, you may be one of many considered as the ‘low-hanging fruit’, the first to be hacked.
According to a recent science and technology blog from Babbage, ‘two factors determine a passwords strength. The first is the number of guesses an attacker must try to find the correct one. This depends on the password’s length, complexity and randomness. The second factor concerns how easy it is to check the validity of each guess. This depends on how the password is stored on a website’s server.’
The second factor is really out of the users control, but the first one is not. A few years ago, an eight-character password was more than sufficient to keep hackers busy trying to decode, but today, computers are faster. ‘This is not just the effect of Moore’s Law—the doubling of processing power every two years or so. There has also been a quantum leap in the computational performance of PCs.’ Furthermore, hackers have access to ‘black market dictionaries’ of common passwords that we are still using against the best advice out there.
‘Given the pace of innovation in graphics processors, coupled with the increasing power of cracking software (mostly available for free on the internet), even the best password defenses are destined to be overwhelmed in due course.’ With this information, it is time to begin looking at the James Bond methods of security – the finger print and the eye scan are just two examples of biometrics – human characteristics and traits which are used with technology to further secure an individual’s use of the internet.
For a safe way to use the internet, contact us on-line at www.mcdougallinsurance.com!
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