It’s that time of the year to checkup on your overall password health and password security hygiene.
These days, people use countless passwords for many daily activities and tasks.
These passwords protect your most sensitive data, whether that is financial data,
health data, or just your favorite family vacation photos. Because passwords are so
important, criminals are always working to capture, compromise, or otherwise gain
access to passwords to get to things that they shouldn’t. So how can you create
stronger passwords and better safeguarding techniques for all of your important
First, you need to understand how passwords can be hacked, then you’ll know how
to create stronger passwords. Follow along below as we cover what you need to
know about password hacking and crucial password protection tips to keep your
important information safe.
HOW CAN PASSWORDS BE COMPROMISED?
There are several ways that passwords can be compromised:
Brute Force Attack: A brute force attack is when an attacker tries a very large list of possible passwords,
such as words from a dictionary, to try and guess the right one. This is why using words not found in the
dictionary and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols is a good idea.
Credential Stuffing: Credential stuffing is when an attacker takes a large list of usernames and passwords
from a data breach and tries them against other services, like banking websites, to determine if those
passwords were reused and thus provide access to the account. This is why it’s important to not reuse your
passwords, especially on important websites like banking, etc.
Hash Cracking: Hash cracking is when attackers gain access to a database of stored passwords that have
been hashed, which is a way of obfuscating the password. They then attempt to reverse the obfuscation to
get the original password. The longer and more unique the password the harder it is usually to crack. This is
why long, unique passwords are important.
GOOD PASSWORD HYGIENE
With so many ways to compromise passwords, it may seem like it
is impossible to protect your password and keep it safe. That is
definitely not the case! By consistently engaging in a few password
security tips and account best practices, you can dramatically
reduce the chance that your accounts will be compromised:
Use strong passwords: Use long passwords or passphrases that are
complex and combine uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers,
and symbols. The best passwords are long (more than 16 characters)
and completely random.
Never reuse passwords: Use a separate password for each service
Be careful where you enter your password: Beware of entering
passwords on websites that don’t show the lock indicating that traffic
is encrypted, opening links that you get via email, and working in
untrusted wireless networks.