A password is a secret key (random character sequence) created by a user and associated with his account. Passwords form an efficient way to authenticate a user. They remain the ultimate way to log in to an account, retrieve stored data, and much more.
A hacker is a person who wishes to obtain a user's password so he can gain access to a victim's account, and take harmful actions (steal credentials, credit card info, place a virus on a PC or a local network...).
Hackers activities are day-to-day increasing, especially that humanity rely on technology, and remote work and learn saw the light a couple of years ago.
On the other side, users are not properly educated about cyber attacks, nor about the risks that they could go into if they fall victim to an attack.
A good step to take to prevent hackers obtaining your password is to create a strong password for your account. This guide will help you do so, not to fall victim and locked out of your account.
Weak passwords are easy to guess or to crack. They are based on personal information, work information, well-known information, or something similar. Hence, weak passwords are to avoid.
Following are some examples of weak passwords.
A simple password can be any of the following:
These form a list of well-know and well-used passwords. If you use any of them, there's a high chance your account will be at risk. Below is a list of some common words used as passwords, remember not to use them.
These are passwords that are either based on:
If a hacker knows you and what you like, a simple guess could lead him to compromise your account.
Obfuscation is the process of replacing a character with another, to make the plain text unreadable, or un-understandable by a human.
A simple obfuscation of the word
Can you spot the differences?
pis replaced by a capital
ais replaced by the
ois replaced by the number zero
Strong passwords makes it harder for attackers to guess it, and to take control over your accounts. Learn how to create a strong password by following the below steps.
Start by creating a passphrase. This could be:
number(Umber is a shade of brown)
After you create your passphrase, randomly pick some letters, and change them from
small to capital.
After capitalizing some letters, insert some
numbers between characters.
Don't insert them by order (1, then 2, then 3); Instead, insert them randomly as well (e.g., 9 then 2 then 4...)
Lastly, you should insert some special characters into your passphrase.
Some special characters:
! @ # $ % & * ( ) - _
Just as you did for numbers, you should do for special characters (insert them randomly, in a random position within your passphrase)
Let's take an example to see how can we apply the above steps to create a strong password
|Random Passphrase||unrolltheblackumbrella (4 concatenated words: unroll the black umbrella)|
Looks hard? let's take an easier example
|Random Passphrase||djejandtoum (3 concatenated words: djej and toum)|
You should always use a strong and unique password to protect your account. Nevertheless, always remember the following:
Having to remember hard passwords is difficult, especially if you have a many accounts (emails, social networking accounts, work accounts, bank accounts, ...)
A password manager is your solution! It securely stores all your passwords, and all you need to remember is a master password to retrieve your desired account credentials.
More about password managers will be shared soon!
Be cyber-safe out there!