Hackers look for ways to get into your system. They love searching for someone with a simple password. Most attacks that attempt to break into a computer come from unsophisticated hackers using something called dictionary scripts. That's a type of software that runs through lists of common usernames and passwords until they get access.
So how simple is your password? Do you use common patterns like your name and 123, password, or 1234?
Are you guilty of any of these?
• Use only letters or only numbers
• Use names of spouses, children, girlfriends/boyfriends or pets
• Use phone numbers, Social Insurance Numbers or birth dates
• Use the same word as your log-in for multiple sites, or any variation of it
• Use any word that can be found in the dictionary. (Yes, even foreign words. There’s a reason they call it dictionary scripts.)
• Use passwords with double letters or numbers.
If so, keep reading!
There are password generators out there, but let's face it, the passwords they generate are hard to remember. So try some of these helpful hints:
• Substitute letters with characters and numbers. Try using numbers and characters that look like the letters they are replacing. (zero for o, 1 for i, @ for a)
• Use the first letters of the words from your favorite saying or song. So the saying “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” turns into 1y@dwy@dy@Gwy@G
• Use passwords that are at least eight characters in length. Use a combination of letters, numbers and keyboard characters. And alternate between lower and upper-case letters.
Save yourself from the grief of being hacked. Take the time to improve the security of your passwords.