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Password security is increasingly becoming a major concern for people and businesses on a personal and professional level. Keeping your systems, devices and networks secure with strong passwords is an absolute must today.

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is your password secure enough 1

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Password security is increasingly becoming a major

concern for people and businesses on a personal and

professional level. Keeping your systems, devices and

networks secure with strong passwords is an absolute

must today.

is your password secure enough 2

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Worst Passwords for 2016*

Worst Passwords for 2016*

There is a good reason why Netflix warns users to change their

passwords. When successful giants like LinkedIn, Google,

eHarmony, Yahoo and many more have had problems with

security breaches and cracked passwords, one should seriously

consider creating a stronger password. In this new era of

cybercrime, no one is safe from potential hack attacks

and keyloggers. Typing “incorrect” or “I don’t know” as

passwords may be humorous to some, but they are extremely

insecure. And security is, by no means, a laughing matter. If you

think those passwords are bad, check out this list of the 10

worst, and insecure, passwords on the internet*:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10. 1234

123456 (#1 for the 3rd straight year)

password (#2 for the 3rd straight year)

12345

12345678

football

qwerty

1234567890

1234567

princess

is your password secure enough 3

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Of course there are methods of creating a more secure password, but still,

concerning massive digital breaches lately, we can do more than just steering clear

of the “popular” cliché’s like “qwerty123” or “loveme123456”. Six letter passwords

do not withstand high-quality cracking software either. So here are a few things to

consider when making your password more secure:

is your password secure enough 4

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Length and Complexity

In this fast-paced digital era, today’s computers are

extremely quick and efficient, compared to machines of

a decade ago. This means it is much easier today for a

cyber criminal or hacker to make quick work out of an

unsuspecting victim’s professional or personal info.

Millions of password leaks are being reported

consistently, yet so many simply refuse to understand

why password length and complexity are so important.

is your password secure enough 5

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Length and Complexity

A minimum of eight characters in a password is considered, in some circles, to be sufficient. But we

recommend that you consider 16 to 20 characters, or more. One should make easy-to-remember sentence

passwords, random phrases or even song lyrics as it should be more than enough for tighter security for your

networks and devices.

Thinking outside the box is key. Even if popular articles suggest unique ideas for your password, it is not a

good idea to take them for granted. Invent your own pattern which only you will remember. Hackers tend to

keep updated on latest trends. They are informed about popular patterns and will be more than happy to try

out these password hints.

is your password secure enough 6

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Password Patterns

There are a lot of Star Wars fans in the world with solid knowledge of the

franchise and universe. Hackers know this. They also know

that “maytheforcebewithyou”, for example, is a common estimate when

attempting to hack someone’s password.

Master Yoda would recommend using the standard mixture of upper-case

characters, symbols and numbers. However, this practice is complex and you

should not use the same difficult password with all your accounts. If thieves

get their hands on one password, you can bet they will use it on your other

accounts.

is your password secure enough 7

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Password Patterns

Our advice would be to utilize a

multiple word phrase with

approximately 16 characters, or

more, made up of random

words. For example,

“correcthorsebatterystaple”,

which is comprised of four

common English words, but

considered so random that in

order for any hacking script to

try and decipher it, 550 years

with 1000 guesses per second

would be needed.**

Additionally, a 2013 research study for Federal Defense

Advanced Research Projects Agency, by Korelogic reports that

there is a common pattern in the upper-case, symbol, and

number passwords that people use. The pattern goes like

this: first character is upper-case, followed by 5 or 6

lowercase, then 3 numbers or year of birth. The common

mistakes are putting a first upper-case letter, ending the

password with an exclamation mark and not scattering the

numbers between the characters.

is your password secure enough 9

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Are You Writing Down Your Passwords?

Notepads won’t cut it either. Unique passwords are

tough, so people typically write them down. Many

people make the mistake of leaving notes with

credit card passwords in their wallet or in a drawer.

While cyber thieves don’t have the technology to

access your bits of paper, your family members,

roommates, colleagues, maintenance personnel and

others do. And this probably goes against

most businesses security best practices.

is your password secure enough 10

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Are You Writing Down Your Passwords?

This is where password manager programs can help.

The simple software utilizes a Master Password

method of keeping your invaluable passwords with a

single phrase. One can build extremely secure and

unique passwords and will only need to remember

one password to retrieve them. Programs like

1Password, Keepass, Dashlane, LastPass, Sticky

Password and others, can save precious info and

ultimately, time and money.

is your password secure enough 11

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Changing Your Password

It should be noted that this is not exactly the most

proper method for dealing with cyber breaches.

Changing it every 2-3 months is not always the best

idea because you will have to remember each and

every password. You should only change your

password if there has been a massive security

breach on the website or service, so you should stay

updated on the latest news.

Security questions are just as important. The

strongest password can and will crumble because of

a weak security answer. The questions usually are

your mother’s maiden name, the city you were born

in, and catastrophe can occur if hackers have this

info. All of which can be easily obtained by Facebook

or other leftover info on social media, depending by

your privacy settings.

is your password secure enough 12

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

Taking Things Into Account

• Always use long, 16-character passwords which

are complex enough but easy to remember

• Never type your name, address, or year in your

password

• Consider using a password manager

• Unless you’re living alone, do not write down

passwords on sticky notes

• Avoid using 12345 number string combinations

• Avoid using the Top 25 Worst Passwords,

according to SlashDot

To sum up, there is no foolproof method of creating

an absolutely secure password. We can only make

the effort to strengthen these passwords and

protect our networks and vital information.

– Always make unique passwords with memorable

combinations of words, symbols and numbers that

do not resemble the common patterns like

“Doolittle1982!”, or “7LittlePiglets#”.

* From SplashData “Worst Passwords of 2016”

** TheVerge.com article “Best practices for passwords…”

is your password secure enough 13

— Is Your Password Secure Enough? —

If you have questions about your password security or would like to discuss

your IT Needs

IT Needs with us, we invite you to contact us at any time and we will

answer any of your questions.

Visit our website today:

http://www.ciotech.us

Or call 813-649-7765