How Safe is Your Password?
The modern era sees different types of crimes and thefts, and thus, we require different kinds of security too. Gone are the times when money used to be kept in huge lockers and there used to be a big locks to protect it. Today money is stored in banks, and accessed via cards and internet. But are we safe? We use passwords to protect our belongings and personal data, but passwords are hackable, in the same way that locks are breakable. Then what do we do?? Well, use better and stronger locks…I mean, use stronger and unhackable passwords!! Most of you must have seen people’s Facebook account getting hacked, and they have to recreate it. Well, social networking accounts are not that big a deal, but the real danger lies in internet banking and online accounts. Those handling transactions must exercise extreme caution while operating their bank accounts online, and must use strong passwords that cannot be broken.
The hackers keep a track of your personal information, family data and many more things to be able to crack your password, and if they are successful, you are doomed. So no matter what lock the key opens, make sure the key is too complicated to be hacked. A survey showed that 25% people in the world use their or their family member’s first name as the password, and 4% people used ‘password’ as their account password. Most website tells you to create a password of minimum six characters, and most of us use exactly 6 letters for their passwords, that too all in the same case. It is wise to have a longer password preferably 14 characters long, or at least 8 characters long, and use the following for your passwords.
- UPPER CASE LETTERS
- lower case letters
- 1234567890 (numeral)
- !@#$%^&*()<>,./? (special symbols)
How To Create a Strong Password:
- Thing of a sentence or two, something that is meaningful to you and that you can easily remember. Make sure the sentence (or sentences) has 10 words at least, for example “I love to eat chicken. It is my favourite food.”
- Now take the first letter of each word and form the first part of your password. For example, taking the first letter from our sentence, our password becomes ilteciimff.
- Now, let us add complexity to it. You would make the vowels upper case, or the consonants upper case, or just make the i’s upper case (in our password here). Using a complicated password may be a little difficult remember, but it’s at least safe. Adding complexity, our password becomes iLTeCiiMFF. Here, I made all the consonants upper case.
- Let’s add length with numbers. You could use any numbers at any place but make sure it is meaningful so that it is easier for you to remember. For example, my favourite chicken joint is KFC and is on street number 32. So, my password becomes iLTeC32iimFF. Notice how the numbers were used not at the end and not at the beginning but at the middle of the two sentences. A strong password!!
- To make it even stronger, you could add special symbols at the end or the beginning (so that it is easy to remember). The sample password we had, will now be even stronger if we add symbols to it, finally making it iLTeC32iimFF? You may not need such strong passwords for a social networking site or your email id, and just step 1,2 and 3 would suffice, but make sure you have a very strong password, with all the step followed for bank accounts to ensure complete safety.
What You Should Avoid:
- Direct dictionary words
- Words or names spelt backwards
- Sequence of keys from your keyboard (like asdfg or qwerty), etcetera.
- You should also avoid using personal information as password like names or nicknames of family members, birthdays, driver’s license number, house number, etc.
Having a strong password is really necessary to prevent hacking and breaking in, and if you ever write it down on a piece of paper to remember it, make sure you keep that safe.
Shahenshah is a computer science engineer who likes to do things differently. He spends most of his time with the love of his life which is his computer, using it mostly for gaming and writing and has a incredible knack for peppering humour into his life.