Strong Password Security

it computer security

How Long Will It Take For A Hacker to Crack Your Password?

The guidelines for strong password security are to use a minimum length of 8 characters.  This includes uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Why is this so important? That’s because weak passwords that don’t follow the above mentioned guidelines, will be cracked in as little as 2 seconds. Therefore, the question isn’t IF your password can be cracked, but rather, how long it will take to hack your password. Therefore, as a guideline, the longer and more obscure the password is, the greater time and processing power it will take to crack it.

Password cracking tools have become extremely sophisticated today.  As a result, they run on specific criteria and speeds that are used to gain access to a site, computer, server or anything that is password protected. A common cracking method is “brute force” attack.  It systematically runs on many passwords, and as such, continues to check all possibilities until it finds the correct match. One example of a “brute force” type is a dictionary attack which will try all words in the dictionary.  Furthermore, it will then start adding on numbers and special characters. Other attacks will run on commonly used passwords and paraphrases or combinations of letters and numbers.

Do’s and Don’ts For Strong Password Security

  • Do not reuse passwords.
  • Avoid using personal information – names, date of birth etc
  • Follow the guidelines. The most commonly hacked accounts are passwords that consist of lowercase letters alone.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a special character at the beginning or the middle of the password or both.
  • Avoid vocabulary words such as fruit, colours, cars, countries etc.
  • The 8-character guideline is a minimum length recommendation, not maximum.
  • Remember, the more obscure, the safer you are. An illogical password such as‘_Wireless flamingo’ can take more than a trillion Years to crack. Simply adding a space or a special character at the beginning of the password can substantially extend the cracking time.
  • Using leetspeak (replacing letters with numbers) on a dictionary word doesn’t make your [email protected] secure, just slightly longer to crack.
  • Use paraphrases such as ‘The blue ancient’ or ‘footballoceandog’.  These examples are far more secure than ‘E22prJAv%’ and much easier to remember.
  • Please don’t store the document with all your passwords on your computer or save them in your Gmail acc

Test Your Password

The following site allows you to test your password https://howsecureismypassword.net/.  If your password test revealed seconds, minutes or weeks, strengthen your password(s) asap. Furthermore, if hacked, reset your password immediately. Afterall, one stolen password has the potential to cause widespread damage and can result in a data or financial breach to yourself, your contacts or your organisation.

Most importantly, if you experience a computer security breach, contact Techstream Solutions .  As your computer security experts, we have the knowledge, experience and tools to mitigate the risk of threats to your system.

Password security problems? Speak to our Sydney based IT support team for assistance. 

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