Phishing schemes and password hackers are very successful due to weak passwords. However, users can take simple steps to increase online security.
Weak passwords are a constant problem for websites and businesses trying to secure their data. There are thousands of hackers all over the world trying to break into systems at all hours of the day using password cracker software.
It is extremely important to enforce a strong password policies in order to keep hackers out. If choosing their own password are left to users, they will most likely pick weak passwords.
Most Common Passwords
People are prone to use short and simple password and allot of times users use the same password for multiple log ins. Some if the most common passwords include:
- Blank password
- The word “password”
- The user’s username or log in name
- Names of spouses, friends, or pets
- License plate numbers
- Swear words
Most hackers use password programs that attack most of the above passwords as well as many other simple variations of the above. Hackers targeting a specific person can perform searches on the Internet to get personal information. Even a Myspace or Facebook page that contains the name of a pet could allow a hacker to break into a user’s account.
Best Practices for Password Security
The responsibility of selecting a password that is hard to guess generally falls to users. With only a few simple steps users can protect their passwords and online security
- Pick a strong password based on the following:
- Must be as long as possible not shorter that 6 character
- Include mixed-case letter
- Include digits
- Not based and any personal information
- Not based on any dictionary word, in any language
Create a password that will be easy to remember, using a mnemonic devise.
Example: Mdslwys90! (My dad is always right = right angle 90!)
- Make sure you have the necessary antivirus software, and anti malware software and phishing filter software is installed.
Finally, always be suspicious of all mail even though they may appear authentic. It’s usually very difficult to detect an email that is actually a phishing scheme. They normally have the emails looking exactly the same using the correct logo and in most cases they have fake websites that are identical to the real deal. Always make sure you rather use a browser bookmark to go to your important websites like your online bank instead of using links sent in emails.