How Secure is your Password?

Do you feel like you constantly have to change your passwords?  Don’t get me wrong, this IS a good thing.  You definitely do NOT want hackers to get into your email, bank accounts and etc.  But do you feel like you are always guessing at what characters to use and what is a strong password?

You are smart to be concerned about your passwords. By using automated programs that target thousands of computers simultaneously, hackers can quickly crack thousands of simple passwords and break into online accounts. Once the hacker signs in as you, they will change the password and lock you out of your own account.  Scary to even think such a thing happens…but it does.

The following are a few tactics to consider using to help strengthen your passwords:

  • Passwords should be at least 12 characters. It has been researched that eight-character passwords can be cracked in about two hours.  BUT by adding (4) four additional keystrokes to a password could raise that to a theoretical 17,000 years.
  • ALWAYS combine letters, numbers, and symbols. The more diversity of characters in your password, the harder it is to crack. Choose from ALL the symbols on the keyboard, not just letters and numbers; contemplate using symbols such as &, >, # or @.
  • Avoid sequences or repeated characters. Passwords such as “12345678” or “222222” are weak passwords.
  • Do not use dictionary words. Hackers use sophisticated tools that can rapidly guess passwords based on words in multiple dictionaries, including words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and substitutions.
  • Use a sentence as the starting point. While complicated passwords are safer, they’re also harder to remember. To make it easier, think of a memorable sentence, take the first letter of each word, mix up lowercase and uppercase, and replace some letters with numbers and symbols.

After you have created a new password you can find out how strong it is by visiting Microsoft’s Password Checker.   It will instantly rate your password from Weak to Best. If yours does not rate well, it’s time to think of a new password.  Keep testing new passwords until you find one that rates highly. 

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About BTInet
Server hosting, Linux, Windows, Sun, Solaris, Dedicated servers, virtual private servers, firewalls, internet service provider, exchange, oracle, SQL server

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