I just checked the most used passwords for the past five years on Google and I was shocked to find out that people actually use letters and numbers not suitable for passwords. C’mon! Imagine someone using password, 12345, first names, surnames, all-letters and a lot of other easy and dictionary words; the fact that they are using any of the above password is not actually my business but when they start crying foul about their compromised system, software and accounts then I think it is now everyone’s business because like in an estate if your neighbour is not secure then you are not secured too.
The internet is fascinating yet a scary place where the worst is yet to be seen, with all manner of fraud and identity theft going on in the cyberspace then your dictionary password is not secure. On a second thought why would identity theft not be common when most users give little or no attention to security – passwords? The question you may want to ask me is this, how do one continue using secured passwords on each website he visits without going mad or should one write it down for reference purpose(s)?
Well, I must say when I first arrived the internet some centuries ago ( 😉 pun intended) I had same problem but sooner than later I got hold of some basic principle one would and could always arm himself/herself with and I am going to share them today:
1. Find and use a Hash
When I say hash I am not referring to the hash sign #, what I do mean is that you should find a base word that you could always remember, maybe your favorite car or manufacturer or product. In this case, lets use say Cadillac. For your passwords on several website you could use any of these on each of them: ” y0uc4di77tube4c” – This is for a youtube account, you can see I use zero instead of “o” in the “you”, also I changed “a” to “4”, “L” to “7” in order to make it complex.
- Must Read: Tips To Staying Safe on the Internet
2. Using a Password Manager
Firstly, what is a password manager? A password manager is simply an encrypted vault that generate and store complex passwords, and most importantly they make use of multi-factor authentication system. The basic idea is that they store your generated passwords and you can access the vault using you master password. There are several password managers out there and some of the best Password Managers are Lastpass.com, Dashlane.com, Keepass.info and Roboform.com. I know your question or doubt would be, isn’t that a cheap access to losing all my passwords should the system get compromised? I have thought about it myself, and seriously I really do not have something to say to defend their system but honestly, they are the best.
3. Do not use any dictionary word as they can be guessed by password cracking software and also do not use a password with all letters. Try to be creative and that’s why I have to make a list of some password replacement one could use in making his/her password a hard one to crack. Some amazing replacement one could use in order to make their password secure are:
* Change all “a” to @
* Change all “e* to 3
* Change all “s” to $
* Change all “a” to 4
* Change all “e” to # – (Shift 3)
* Change all “o” to 0 – (zero)
I hope you get the drift?
Before I close this short article, I want to give some useful tips to keep at the back of your mind:
* Do not use dates that are easily discover-able online but rather dig deeper. It is common to see people using their birth dates and other easy to guess dates. I suggest you use any of these: the day your kid walked; the day your pet ate a lot; the day you ate your best meal; the day you bought a pen etc. Try to think of a stupid date no one is going to think of.
* Never use names of wives, children, relatives, names, your company etc. It is not advisable to use names at all but rather make it constructive and hard to guess by using replacement. Using names is like leaving calling cards for men of the underworld to do the undesirable to you.
* Do not use easy to guess passwords like “12345”, “password”, “abcde” etc. When Adobe was hacked a list of common passwords were released by the hackers. They are: photoshop; 11111; qwerty; 12345678; adobe123; password etc. Try not to be a victim of these hacks, take necessary actions before you learn from your experience. As we already know even the most secured and trusted site are vulnerable yet it doesn’t stop us from using passwords as it is a necessary evil.
So folks, that’s it from me. Try to do something about those easy to guess password before something happens to you. Do share your tips too in the comment section below.