Hacker-Proof: The Protected Password

Everything can be done online these days, from buying next years Christmas presents to paying your bills. The common ground in many examples would be this: they include the transfer and/or use of real money.

Through many electronic transfers, one can lose sight of the idea that the money itself is not virtual too. Lucky, all that cash is stored securely in bank accounts or other online money-holders such as PayPal, protected solely by the creativity of your password. But with all the new hacker software out there, how safe can your password truly be?

Bruce Schneier, who has written some of the most prominent books on computer security and cryptography ever printed, offers advice on how to create a password you can trust to guard your personal information. (Please keep in mind that given enough time, any password can be cracked. These tips and techniques will make it profoundly more difficult, however.) In the end, it boils down to stripping everything to the bare essentials.

How Do Hackers Crack Account Passwords?

The first thing you may want to associate yourself with is how hackers crack passwords. This will help you to better understand the way to keep everything secure.

Hackers typically use “dictionary” devices in which their software runs through a series of universal words or phrases in assorted combinations. Hundreds of these frequent “root” passwords are checked alone, as well as with various “appendages”, containing all two and three digit combinations, solitary symbols (EG: ! @ # $), dates from 1900 on, and several others. The crackers also substitute common characters like single numbers, capital letters, and other traditional hacker-speak substitutions.

To make it simple, a password as seemingly complex as baby92x@ can be cracked in mere minutes.

The Trick to Tricky Passwords

The aim here in to use a “root” that isn’t listed in a traditional dictionary list, and put your own appendage in a particularly strange place. Putting this chosen appendage at both the beginning and the end of your root, or in the middle of it, seems to be most effective.

Schneier’s other example is to use a word you can pronounce, but simply spell it incorrectly. (EG: Cowtch, karpit, munkee, etc) Afterwards, place your appendages: 452cowtch254, kar1942pit, mun43$34kee, and so on. It may be slightly more difficult to remember these for future references, but this is certainly worth the additional difficulty it would take for a hacker to break through.

The solution to high-quality security isn’t just the length of your password, but including uncommon characters. A protected password should be a minimum of eight characters long, and contain at least one number, one uppercase letter, and one unique character like a dollar sign. To make it easier on yourself, try using the same button on the keyboard in both upper and lowercase versions. (Example: “OoWwLl&4&”)

Password Hacking Protection Myths:

Sometimes a myth is a helpful suggestion gone wrong. Here are a few things to take into account when making passwords for the future.

  • Replacing an “o” with a “0” does nothing for security.
  • The most secure passwords are fifteen characters or longer.
  • Changing your password every four months is satisfactory, as opposed to company policies stating it should be changed monthly, or even bi-weekly.
  • Documenting your password isn’t necessarily a bad idea, if properly secure. This is most helpful for loved ones and those you trust to have access to it in the event of your inability to do so for them.

Remember these helpful tips and stay on top of your transactions. Internet security is vital to your safe financial future.

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