Three Steps To Improve Your Password Security

Don’t use Common Passwords:

It may seem like common sense but don’t choose a password that is simple, but what’s simple? Well as a rule I recommend staying away from the top 25 passwords as well as staying away from the name of the site, your name and anything you see in front of you when you’re on your computer (Like Dell, Ruler, etc).  Below is a list of the top five most common passwords (of 2012 – For more visit Here):

1. password
2, 123456
3. 12345678
4. abc123
5. qwerty

Use Appropriate Tools:

As you probably know by now when creating and using passwords you should set up a completely new and different password for each individual account. This can sometimes be hard for two reasons. these being that first creating a password for many different accounts can be hard to come up with (To fix this follow the password creation steps below) and secondly it can be hard to remember all of these newly created passwords. A great tool for storing passwords that you cant remember is LastPass. I personally haven’t used this tool before but I have heard of many people that say it is great for securely storing passwords that you may not necessarily remember.

Password Layouts:

When looking at password layout it is important to make a password that is close to invulnerable on as many password hacking techniques as possible. Below we are going to talk about two of these techniques and how you can defend yourself against them:

  • Brute forcing
  • Dictionary attacks

Brute Forcing:
So brute forcing works by the hacker or a piece of software routinely guessing the password  to your account. One of the best ways to make yourself almost impervious to such attacks is to not use a guessable password that a hacker would be able to find elsewhere on the internet, for example on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile. If you are a person that easily forgets passwords and wants an easy password like your pets name then there is two things you can do. Ever use a password ‘safe’ (as stated above) to store a stronger or (which is not recommended) at least don’t have such information on the web, like your pets name or address.

Attacks like this have been done on many prestige twitter accounts and in other high security corners of the web.

Dictionary Attacks:
To me this is the most interesting type of attack. it works by again brute forcing your password but this time by using ‘dictionary’ words (hence the name). For example the 8th most popular password in 2012 was dragon, 10th baseball and the 11th was iloveyou. All of these passwords consist of dictionary words and are therefore susceptible to a dictionary hack. The best way to prevent such an attack being performed on yourself is to not use any dictionary words in your password. Although if you would still like an easily  password to remember a good way I find to do this is to think of a phrase like “This website is amazing and I love it” and then use the first letter of each word. So now we have “twiaaili” and all we need to do now is add a few numbers and upper case and we have an almost perfect password “TwiaailI350”.

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James Stevenson

Im a Cyber Security enthusiast that loves all things to do with technology. I'm specifically interested in cyber security and ethical hacking.

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