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Signing up for a new web service or opening an account online always requires you to create a password … not just any old password, but one that’s secure and hard for hackers to decipher. Many websites have specific criteria for them. A password usually needs to be at least 8 digits, with numbers, capital letters, and symbols. Why is this important? Read on, and we’ll tell you.
Hackers use up to 10 computers at a time to search for passwords they can crack. They also use computer programs that quickly key in random passwords until they “hit the jackpot.” This is why it’s so important that you use strong passwords.
There’s a great tool that you can use to find out how much time it will take a hacker to crack your passwords. Let’s give it a try. Go to your browser and type in: https://howsecureismypassword.net.
Many people like to use the word “password” as their password. Let’s see how fast a hacker can crack this.
We suspected this. Now let’s try another commonly used password – where you are from.
You don’t want to use passwords like the ones above. Also, don’t use the names of family members, your dog’s name, birthdates or other common words or phrases. A hacker can find this information online and will plug it into their computer program to try to break into your accounts.
However, if you change a few things in the password that we used above, it makes all the difference.
Keep in mind that a computer program is doing the work to crack your passwords. The hacker isn’t sitting there typing them in one by one. Plus, everything we just showed you is based on using just one computer to crack your passwords. Remember, hackers use many computers all at once to do this. So, you can see how important it is to use strong, unique passwords.
Be Sure To Update Passwords Regularly
When was the last time you updated your passwords? If the answer to this question is more than 30 days ago, it’s time for you to change them.
Some people use passwords for years or until a system requires they update them. This could have serious consequences for your privacy. So, it’s essential that you update your passwords frequently. It’s much easier to crack a password that has been the same for 10 years than one that was changed a month ago.
Use A Different Password For Each Of Your Accounts
Using the same password for everything is like asking hackers to steal your information. You might as well just put a sticky note on your monitor that says, “Steal my passwords!”
If someone hacks into one of your accounts by figuring out one password, now they have the password for your email, social media accounts, online shopping sites, and perhaps even your bank account.
Use A Password Bank
You access your password bank with a master password or with a fingerprint on your smartphone. The password bank automatically keeps track of your passwords and ensures that they are stored securely so they can’t be hacked. Even if a criminal cracks one of your passwords, they won’t be able to crack them all.
Carefully Craft Your Passwords
As we mentioned earlier, if your passwords are simple or contain names, places, birthdates, and other common terms, they’re more likely to be discovered. And, don’t use common phrases like “iloveyou” or “1234.”
It’s important that you create long and complex passwords with a mix of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols (when permitted). Be sure to use at least 8 lower and upper-case characters.
A good password might be a string of numbers and letters or some other combination of information like a sentence acronym. Using this strategy can make it easier for you to remember your complex passwords.
For example, my favorite place to eat is La Cucina Italian Restaurant at 7 (MfpteiLCIRa7$). This is a pretty strong password as you can see below.
Always Keep Your Passwords Private
And don’t hesitate to contact the IT Security Experts at Colorado Computer Support. There’s a lot more we can do to keep your confidential information secure. Just give us a call at 719.439.0599, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tell us what you need by completing our contact form at https://www.coloradosupport.com/contact-us/.