Constant connection to the internet has changed the way we conduct business and go about our lives. But firms providing cyber security in Brisbane warn that always being connected also comes with a dark side. The phone in your pocket can access every bit of information in the world, and you’re only a few taps away from apps that manage your fitness, bills and money. Unfortunately, that means hackers and other cyber criminals also have easy access to your critical information.
Strong passwords are the best defence you have. Knowing how to create a strong password is all it takes to deter hackers and protect your most important data.
How Do Hackers Crack Passwords?
If you were raised on Hollywood movies, you might have the idea that hackers are masterminds who can tap away on a keyboard and break into any account at any time. In reality, hacking is often less sophisticated than that, and protecting your passwords is up to you.
There are a few main types of hacking techniques used today:
– Brute force attacks
In a brute force attack, a hacker will simply attempt to guess your password. This can be done by hand, but it’s also often done by automated programs that are capable of guessing thousands of passwords per second.
– Phishing scams
With phishing scams, the hacker will use deception to obtain your passwords. For example, a hacker could send a fake email asking you to click a link and confirm your bank login details. The link will take you to a fake website that steals your details after you have entered them, giving the hacker access to your real accounts.
– Dictionary attacks
Lots of people use variations of common words as their passwords. A dictionary attack can rapidly guess thousands of words to try and break into your accounts. Even if your password contains numbers or symbols, complex dictionary attacks may be able to crack your account.
Secure Passwords Put Hackers Off
With online security systems getting more sophisticated, using hacking to break into a person’s accounts has become difficult. Many websites now use additional safety measures, like two-factor authentication, tough security encryptions and instant notifications when a hacking attempt is made.
But, a tough password remains the best deterrent for a hacker. The more attempts and the longer it takes for a hacker to break into an account, the more likely it is they’ll be caught and stopped. With long passwords being almost impossible to guess, even for computers, creating strong passwords is all you need to do to deter hackers from trying.
Tips for Creating Strong Passwords
A strong password is your best defense against any type of hacking attempt. The longer and more complex a password is, the harder it will be for hackers to break into your personal and business accounts. Luckily, creating a strong password is simple, and it only takes a few steps:
1. Longer is better
Long passwords, from 10-12 characters, are harder for hackers and computers to crack. While longer is better, you also need to be able to remember your passwords, so don’t go overboard.
2. Use a mixture of symbols
Passwords made up of only letters or numbers are very simple for hackers to crack. But, when a password includes a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, it becomes exponentially harder to break through.
3. Don’t use personal information
Hackers will often look you up online to find personal information you might have used to create a password. Avoid using details like your address, birth date, hobbies or the names of pets and loved ones in your passwords. If a hacker can find that information online, they’ll have no trouble breaking into your accounts.
4. Avoid obvious passwords
A hacker will have no trouble getting through any password that uses a consecutive string of numbers (e.g. 1234), dictionary words, or common passwords (such as your birth date). The ideal password is as unique as you can make it.
5. Don’t write passwords down
A password that gets written down is unsecure by nature. If you can’t remember all your passwords, consider investing in a secure password management system. Firms offering cyber security in Brisbane are usually able to recommend password management software to protect your personal and business information, even from the toughest hacking attempts.