#TechTip: Change your passwords often. Don’t use words found in a dictionary or easy number combinations.
Last week, news broke of a major password breach on a number of major social media websites. Close to 2 million passwords were accessed from sites like Gmail, Facebook and Twitter. The security breach means if your password was compromised, you may be susceptible to attack from other hackers.
It is strongly advised that you change your passwords. Even if you don’t think you were affected, its always good to change your passwords now and then for security. This week, we are going to bring a series of tips and blogs on why security for your password is important and offer tips on what to do.
First for this week, lets talk about the actual password you use. Do not use names, dates, or any word that can be found in a dictionary. Even words that are linked together can be cracked. If its found in a dictionary, it can be cracked. It is strongly suggested that passwords contain the following elements:
- Upper Case letters
- Lower Case letters
- 8 or more characters
If you include these in your password, and they are not based on any dictionary words, chances are its a secure password. Having said that, almost any password can be hacked by a skilled hacker. The point is not to make an uncrackable code, but to create a code that would require so much effort for a potential hacker to crack that it wouldn’t be worth their time or resources to try.
Even with good strong passwords that can’t be easily cracked, its still suggested you change your passwords often. Your login credentials for the sites you visit are usually kept in a database somewhere. Its those databases that hackers tend to be attracted to. If they manage to get in and steal a file containing many passwords, then all the complexity in the world won’t help you. Simply changing your password will avoid any issues.