As we all know you need to update your password every 60-90 days. Here we are going to talk about how to create difficult passwords which are difficult to crack. The cool thing about these passwords is they are easy to create and easy to remember.
I am going to give you a few tips on how to create powerful passwords in minutes and give you a formula to generate and test your passwords.
First thing we have to do is understand how weak passwords are cracked.
Password use hashes that are ran against each other, once the handshake is acknowledges the hashes match you get access to your account, facebook, mobile app whatever. If a hacker were to get a hold of the hash files your passwords are stored in, they run several attacks to try and crack it.
The first attack is called a dictionary attack which is where they download a wordlist for common, weak passwords. They use a special program to run the hashes in the wordlist against your password hash. The less characters and commonality of the password the faster and easier they can crack it.
The second type of attack is called a brute force attack. This is the equivalent of a swat team ramming down doors trying to find the right house or apartment. This attack uses massive amounts of cpu power and energy. These types of attacks also take a bit longer but there are special deep web tools hackers can use to speed up the process.
One tool is renting what is called a botnet and using the collective computing power of infected phones, laptops, desktops, tablets, etc to brute force your password hashes.
There are other more complicated ways to crack a password such as a hybrid attack of both dictionary & brute force… Or a social engineering attack with a dictionary attack. But for now these are the two most common ways a bad guy can crack your password.
This the importance of having a complex & strong password. Now I will show you a simple formula to create strong, complex passwords which are easy to remember.
To begin let me show you what 99% of people would imagine a complicated password looks like:
Although the password is strong, and complex. It’s difficult to remember. And 99% of people would probably have this written down somewhere on a sticky note taped to their monitor. This itself is a security risk!
Ok now for the formula.
First start off with a word.
It can be any word preferably longer than 5 characters.
Lets take “characters” for the first part. You can choose to capitalize 1 letter or leave them lowercase. This formula creates strong passwords already so adding a capital letter doesn’t hurt, only helps.
So we have the word “Characters”.
Next step choose two random numbers.
It can be any number really. Just make sure it’s two.
I’ll go with 67.
So far we have “Characters67” now on to the third step.
Choose one more word again 5 characters or more.
I’ll go with “plays”…
Now we have “Characters67plays” now for the icing on the cake. I’ll stop here and explain that this password is already a pretty strong, complex password and it’s up to you to do the final step. I highly recommend it just to be on the safe side.
So for the final step all you have to do is add a special character.
Yep.. that’s it. Go ahead and add any special character you want. !@#$%^&*()+_-
Whatever character you want. I’ll go ahead and go with “#”.
As for the final result we have:
Simple to remember yet powerful and difficult to crack!
Go ahead and try it when you need to create a new password.
Remember the formula:
(Word with 5+ characters) + (Any two numbers) + (Word with 5+ characters and a capital letter) + (Special character)
You can even test it here:
to test your password strength out.
I went ahead and plugged in the password we came up with above and here are the results:
It says it will take a computer 7 Quadrillion Years. Don’t know if that’s true or not… You can also use more popular tools to test the strength of your newly created passwords.
For those of you who have multiple passwords for multiple sites. I highly recommend you install LastPass. It’s a password keychain for Firefox, Chrome & Safari.
You can download it here:
You will never have to type another password in. Just don’t forget the master password!
For A FREE One on One Consultation & Strategy For Your IT or Cyber Security Fill Out The Form Below!