Using passwords is an everyday activity, at least to me, since it is required to use a combination of letters, special characters, and numbers in order to access my personal accounts online. All of this for security purposes. But it has never been so easy to crack passwords nowadays due to sophisticated computer programs at our disposal that help accomplishing this task – these computer programs are commonly called “password crackers”.
The power of the password crackers
In general, password crackers use various methods to crack passwords. The most popular ones are the “dictionary method” and the “brute force method”.
The dictionary method simply searches for all available words in a dictionary until it finds the correct one; however, the brute force attack makes several attempts from all possible combination of characters, including special characters, space, punctuation, and numbers, until it finds the correct password.
Two of many reasons why it is more likely to crack a password today are the efficiency and power that “password crackers” need to perform a good job.
When speaking about efficiency, we are referring to the ability of the password cracker programs to guess and find passwords efficiently. And speaking of power means computing power.
Most modern computers are built to be faster than the old ones; therefore, the speed to find words and characters per second has increased exponentially. New sophisticated password crackers are able to run for several days, on multiple computers simultaneously.
So, eventually a brute force attack will, most likely, detect the right combination of a password.
How to prevent yourself from being hacked?
Now, you might be asking yourself, how to avoid being a victim of a brute force attack? Or simply, how to make it harder for such attack to be successful?
The problem is, most sophisticated password crackers are programmed to find common password structures that most online login systems require; hence, what most people use, which means a typical password can be set as follow: @Yourson96, BigBang2018, Psalms23:2, Psalms23:1-10, Iloveuverymuch1133, etc.
Again, it is most likely for crackers, that use different type of dictionaries , to find your passwords if you use this sort of combination; it does not matter if you use different words, symbols, or numbers.
One of the top security specialists, Bruce Schneier, encourages the use of memorable sentence with some personally memorable tricks that could be sorted into a password to create a lengthy password.
Schneier idea is to make up a personal sentence, such as “My crazy little pet intelligence to admire” and change it into this: mclPETi2a.
Obviously, you can make up longer sentences with more options or with special characters, even spaces, if the system you use allow you to do so.
As you can see, after sorted out a memorable sentence into a unmemorable format, the result seems to be generated by a password generator, which makes your password more difficult to crack.
Keep in mind the longer the password the better.
If you feel that a very personal sentence you make up is hard to remember, you can just use a password manager, which is trendy, so that you can handle more passwords and get them organized– they help generating strong passwords as well.
It is also strongly recommended to enable two-factor authentication, as most websites provide this feature now.
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