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Prevent your password getting hacked

Prevent your password getting hacked

Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 17:21:42

We are seeing cases of more and more clients being victimised as they have weak or easily guessable passwords such as their pets name, first born or even having their password as ‘password’ or ‘password123’.

How many times have your emails been hacked? How many times has Google noticed ‘suspicious activity’ on your account? These can all be prevented with a strong password!

Having a weak password will make you susceptible to fraud and hacking. Hackers in all corners of the world are now writing software which attempts to guess your password. The less complex your password is, the much quicker they’ll hack it.

One of the most common kind of attempts go work out a password is to get access to people’s email accounts; either to steal their emails, get a list of the contacts in their address book, or to use their email account to send out spam. This can result in you getting locked out of your own emails so you won’t be able to access your emails, potentially resulting in a loss for your business because if you can’t see enquiries from your customers, how can you follow them up?
 

How easily a password can be cracked

To put it in perspective, using password hacking software, here is how long it would take for a hacker to calculate your password:-

  • A five character long password, all in lowercase
    0.01 seconds
     
  • A password which has special characters, upper and lowercase letters, numbers and is over 12 characters long
    15,081,326 years

 

Our recommendations for a strong password

With the above in mind, and based on our own experience here are our recommendations for password quality. Try and incorporate ALL of the below:-

  • Use lowercase and uppercase letters
  • Involve symbols such as @£$*& within your password
  • Use numbers
  • Try and make the password over 10 characters long

 

Examples (don’t actually use these!)

Really hard passwords…

P8nb%oij22
 

Memorable but still following our guides…

88D0nkey12@@

%buckeT44

23blueSKY!891

 

How to prevent your password being stolen by viruses, trojans etc

Even with a strong password, it can still be hacked using viruses, trojans etc. To prevent this, our recommendations are:-

  • Ensure your computer has AntiVirus software on it from a credible manufacturer (eg Symantec, McAfee, AVG)
     
  • Ensure your tablet or mobile has AntiVirus on it. YES... tablets and smartphones can get hacked too!!
     
  • If entering a password on a website, ensure it has the secure padlock icon showing on the toolbar
     
  • Use a different password for more secure things than you would do for less secure things. eg use a different password for email and Internet Banking

 

We hope you find the above useful and hope you don't get caught out!

 


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By Lydia Reynolds
Wednesday 29th April 2015 at 17:21

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