Setting passwords are crucial for protecting the data. All data in this day and age can be abused. We often make the common mistake of keeping our passwords easy as it is easier to remember. It is also easy to get such a password to get cracked by hackers. While choosing a password, the key factors to keep in mind are length, characters, and uniqueness.
How do Hackers Crack a Password?
Hackers are an intelligent species that cracks passwords through conventional as well as nonconventional ways.
When a hacker decides he wants to crack a password conventionally, he will try all the possible combinations. As said earlier, most passwords are too common and they make an educated guess. They start their combinations by trying out the length of a single letter multiple times. E.g. – ‘aaaa’ ‘aaaaaa’ ‘aaaaaaaa’ and so on for all the alphabets. After this, they try different combinations with different characters and finally after dedicating some amount of time, they crack the password.
Every hacker has a wordlist. The wordlist is as suggested a list of all types of common passwords. Most people in professional and personal settings use a password that is easy to remember and efficient to type. You cannot type something like this ‘ddwafbdwqy41’ every time you want to use your device. You are more likely to set passwords such as ‘markgomes28’ or ‘petermarie7’ etc.
These passwords exist in their wordlist and they run the wordlist first to crack your password. Usually many times they crack the password because of this wordlist. We think that adding a number or different characters will help strengthen the password but in actuality, it doesn’t. This is because the hackers also have software wherein they use it to change characters. For e.g. – they change it from ‘denise56’ to ‘denise56@’.
Can you Trust the Online Services offered for Securing a Password?
When you check out the online tools for deciding on password strength, it isn’t very safe. These tools are the ones hackers use to get their wordlist. Furthermore, it isn’t guaranteed that when they say these passwords are secure that means they are 100% secure.
These tools can be hacked at times to check a password. Your best bet is to type in a similar password that you originally planned to use and then check its strength. This will save you from giving your password to the wordlist- if it doesn’t already exist in it!
How to Set a Strong Password?
There are many geniuses in our world who keep a password that is very lengthy such as prose, a poem, a quote, a mixture of words that make no sense together, etc. While these passwords are a good idea they are impractical for two reasons. First, it is difficult to access the device quickly with such a lengthy password.
There is a very strong possibility that you will either forget the entire password or some parts of it. The password entering process will get lengthy and tiring. You will always get it incorrect in the beginning tries. And second, the device may not allow you to keep a password that is of so many characters.
Even keeping a password with random characters seems like a fair and strong password but remembering it is a great challenge. If you enter the wrong password multiple times then it is also possible that you lock your device temporarily.
Steps to Decide a Strong Password
The length of the password matters a lot. Every character that you add increases the number of possibilities of the password guesswork. The length shouldn’t also be very lengthy. The assumed safe length is that of 10 characters. A password of 10 characters is safe and could take decades to crack it if the hacker is trying to go about it conventionally.
There is something about you that is unique and different from the rest of the people- use that for your password. Your password needs to be something that not a lot of people can guess by checking you out on social media.
The password such as ‘who was your teacher in 3rd grade’ is easier to guess than the 5 things you use daily in your routine. The password will automatically become strong but to make it stronger and to go up a level you can also add a number after every letter and or add characters before and after. This password is very safe and strong.
Biometrics and Face Recognition
These days with the advancement in technology there are ways to scan your biometrics or use face recognition as passwords. These can be very insecure as a password because although you have a unique set of nerves and indents that set you apart it is easier to pick your prints and biometrics.
Though it doesn’t come under any wordlist- so you are safe in that context. The biometrics is safer if you use it for a device but not an application. For example- your phone can get unlocked with your biometrics and face but the banking application on the phone should be unlocked with a written password.
Same Password Tendency
All of us tend to use the same password everywhere. This practice is very insecure. It’s a strong possibility that due to the overuse of a password across multiple domains, the password can be traced by the wordlist of the hackers. The use of one password everywhere is easier for us, certainly but after a given point of time the people around you can also make a good guess of your password.
It is also essential to change your password from time to time. Whether conventional or non-conventional means, it takes some time to crack a password. When you keep changing your passwords frequently, you dodge the attempts made at cracking it.
The frequency of the password should be changed at least twice a year. Nowadays, the application has a system wherein a password can no longer be used after a certain amount of time. They send you notification like ‘password expires in Xyz days’.
To have a strong password the length, characters, frequency of change, different passwords assigned for different accounts and double security is all a must.