Passwords... Can't live with them, can't live without them...
According to the PC Magazine,
10 Most Common Passwords are:
- (your first name)
If you recognize yours, you may as well hand over your wallet or purse to the first person you see on the street.
Passwords are important. They are hard to remember, but are VERY important. Here are good tips:
- We know you want it "simple to remember". But you don't want it to be "simple to guess".
- There are 2 ways of guessing someone's password/hacking into the account:
- "dictionary" - see passwords above. A human can type several most common passwords pretty quick. A computer can go through millions of passwords in no time. If your password is "simple" and can be found in various "password dictionaries" - you're out of luck.
- "brute force" - this is where computer shines - fast processing. Bad guys will create software to take "a", then "b", then "ab", then "ba", etc... go through variations. "The strength of the password" is directly proportinate to a) number of characters/positions in it and b) usage of case, numbers, special characters, etc.
- You have to have a password that cannot be "guessed" with a dictionary or "broken" by permutations.
- Ever heard of "128 bit encryption", etc - that is the length of the password. The longer it is - the longer it takes a computer to go through all variations. Have at least 8-10 characters and absolutely use numbers, letters, both cases, symbols.
- Another great idea - have a phrase you can remember: "where was i born?" and make a password out of it. Substitute some letters with similar looking numbers and use both cases, add a number/symbol. "Wh3r3W@sIBorn?-AK" is an impossible password to brute force or guess. At the same time - how can you forget where were you born? :)
- IF you know another language - type in that language but use english keyboard layout. The result makes no sense to anyone except you, but you know it!
Very good read: http://www.cp-lab.com/cryptography.html