Here is a handy website that tells you how secure your password is.
If you enter your password the website will NOT show it. When hackers go to work they usually use multiple computers. You will want something that takes millions of years for a single computer to hack.
There are many easy ways to strengthen a password:
- Make some letters upper and others lower case.
- Replace some letters with numbers like a zero for the letter “o” and an exclamation point to replace a lowercase letter L, the letter “e” or “a” can be replaced with an @ sign or some other symbol. Use your imagination.
- Typically the more characters you use the better.
- You can take a common password and use a childhood phone number on the end or at the beginning.
Example: a common password someone might use is their first car like 68Mustang. That only takes 39 days for a single PC to crack. Hackers usually use multiple computers so cut that time down to hours or minutes. You can create a password like [email protected] that would take 931 Trillion years. Even using a thousand computers that would take 931 Billion years.
Don’t get me wrong on this subject. There are other weaknesses that we need to be consider. After all, if it was just that easy then anyone could keep a hacker out. All weaknesses are not always in your control. Do your best.
Other things that are in your control are:
- Do not keep a file on your computer called Passwords. If your computer is ever compromised it will be easy to find. You might want to keep a file and use password hint phrases rather than using the actual password. Something like “first car and childhood phone number.” is one example.
- Do not share passwords with others. This is especially true if you use the same password across the board. If your password is hacked for your email account then your banking account is also at risk if you use the same password.
- Do not click links that look suspicious on websites or in your email. This might seem obvious but you would not believe how often I hear a client did this and got hacked.
- Do not save passwords for banking information using your browser password keeper. Again, if your computer is compromised so is your banking information.
- If you use an App on your smartphone to access sensitive information make sure you also password protect your phone.
According to a 2014 report half of all Americans are hacked. Is it time you do a security review?