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Sobering Password Fact

The human factor can be the weakest and the strongest link in any security posture. As fallible humans, we reuse passwords. We’ve all done it at one time or another.

Most people are just out there working away with the same password across many of their accounts.

If you use the same password for multiple purposes, once that password is in someone else’s hands they have access to many resources, rather than just one.

The best way to avoid getting hacked is to create strong and unique passwords, utilise passphrases, and to use password manager software so you don’t have to remember them all.

A strong password has to meet the following requirements:

  • Contains a minimum of 8 alphanumeric characters
  • Contains both upper- and lower-case letters
  • Contains at least one numeric value (0-9)
  • Contains at least one special character (!$%^&*()_+|~-=\'{}[]:”;'<>?,/@#.)

Going by the above guidelines, a password with 8 characters would have trillions of combinations of alpha, numeric, and special characters. This makes the recommended password guidelines good to set a strong password.

Remembering a complex password is one hard task for us humans. Sometimes, we end up writing down the password somewhere that is prone to theft. But usually, we choose simple combinations that we can easily remember or relate to. And this makes it easy for hacking tools and algorithms to predict and crack the password.

For example, a password like P@ssW0rd123! may look strong given that it follows the above password guidelines. Most people tend to use the same technique when crafting their passwords. The above sample password results in strings of characters and numbers that hackers can easily predict. They can use algorithms that specifically target those weaknesses. And hackers have specific dictionaries for most used passwords. While this password may look secure, it is unsafe. Instead of a password, you can use a core passphrase.

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Really? .. That’s your password!

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