If you are still using passwords similar to any of the following, it’s only a matter of time before you get hacked:
- Your partner, child, or pet’s name, possibly followed by a 0 or 1 (because they’re always making you use a number, aren’t they?)
- The last 4 digits of your social security number.
- 123 or 1234 or 123456.
- Your city, or college, football team name.
- Date of birth – yours, your partner’s or your child’s.
It is essential that you are using “strong” passwords from now and DO NOT use the same password everywhere. Why?
- Someone’s out to get you. Enemies you’ve created, exes from your past, a nosy mother, an intrusive spouse — there are many people who might want to take a peek into your personal life. If these people know you well, they might be able to guess your e-mail password and use password recovery options to access your other accounts.
- You might become the victim of a brute-force attack. Whether a hacker attempts to access a group of user accounts or just yours, brute-force attacks are the go-to strategy for cracking passwords. These attacks work by systematically checking all possible pass phrases until the correct one is found. If the hacker already has an idea of the guidelines used to create the password, this process becomes easier to execute.
- There’s a data breach. Every few months it seems another huge company reports a hacking resulting in millions of people’s account information being compromised.
♦ Here is an explanation of exactly what a “strong” password is: Strong Passwords (PDF)
♦ Strong Password Management Video (7 minutes long): The Tech Guy 1073
♦ How strong is your password? (Microsoft site that allows you to check your password.)