How to make your passwords difficult to crack

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 02, 2019 Published on May 02, 2019

Despite warnings by cyber security experts, scores of internet users continue to settle for easy passwords and thereby expose themselves to cyber attacks. Passwords such as 123456, 1234, 12345 and admin remain the favourite of internet fraternity n India and globally.

Logic attempts

Sophos, a cyber security solutions firm, said that 123456 was the most attempted login password in the Mumbai cloud server ‘honeypot’ that saw over 1,376 login attempts by cyber attackers within a span of 30 days.

Honeypot is a decoy to attract hackers to deflect their attention or to understand their modus operandi.

Mumbai is one of the 10 locations where honeypots were set up in Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres. Frankfurt, London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Sydney were some of the top locations. “Passwords are an important aspect of computer security. They are the front line of protection for user accounts. But people are not changing factory default passwords, which cyber criminals are counting on to carry out their attacks,” said Sunil Sharma, Managing Director (Sales) of Sophos India and SAARC.

Basic house-keeping tips

* Check if your passwords are exposed. Do not use common passwords and simple personal details within your passwords.

* Remember that your basic personal details such as birthdays, family members’ names or pets’ names are easily guessable.

* The same applies to common passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘qwerty’. The less obvious and more obscure, the better.

* Layer your passwords. Passwords should always contain a variety of capital and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

* Choose unique passwords across all your accounts. Many consumers use the same password, or variations of it, across all their accounts. This means that if a hacker discovers just one password of one account, passwords of all other accounts are at risk. Have different passwords for different accounts.

* Use a password manager. Using a password manager will dramatically simplify managing passwords across all your accounts and make it easy to quickly change a password if your service provider announces that they have been breached. Since it can be difficult to remember multiple complex passwords, use the password manager to keep track.

* Enable two- or multi-factor authentication, a service that many sites offer. This provides an extra layer of authentication and protection that will keep hackers at bay.

Published on May 02, 2019
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