Prevent Headaches, Strengthen Your Password
|If you invited us to try to crack your password, how many guesses do you think it you would take us before we got it right?|
Let’s see, this is what we would give try first (and this information is not that difficult to obtain). Once we get the password on one of your accounts, I am sure we would be able to get into your e-mail, computer, or online banking.
Your partner, child, or pet’s name, possibly followed by a 0, 1, 2, or 3 since they are always requiring a number.
The last 4 digits of your social security number
Your city, college, or football team name
Date of birth (yours, partner’s, or childs)
Statistically, that should cover more than 20% of you. But don’t worry; there are other tools that hackers, and not the ethical kind have at their disposal. Insecure.org provides a treasure trove of free password cracker/Brute Force attack applications where a piece of software can try many thousands of combinations of passwords against your account.
Here are some password tips:
Randomly substitute numbers for letters that look similar. The letter 'o' becomes the number '0?, or even better an '@' or '*'. (i.e. – b@r5t001... like barstool)
Randomly throw in capital letters (i.e. - B@r5t001)
Think of something you were attached to when you were younger, but DON'T CHOOSE A PERSON'S NAME! Every name plus every word in the dictionary will fail under a simple brute force attack.
Maybe a place you loved, or a specific car, an attraction from a vacation, or a favorite restaurant?
You really need to have different username / password combinations for everything. Remember, the technique is to break into anything you access just to figure out your standard password, then compromise everything else. This doesn't work if you don't use the same password everywhere.
Once you've thought of a password, try Microsoft's password strength tester (https://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/password-checker.aspx) to find out how secure it is.