Hacking is becoming more and more common, with one in five UK citizens thought to have had some sort of account hacked over the past year. If you consider the different facilities that you use in every day life that require a password, from accessing online banking, to logging into a laptop, opening the screen on your phone or reading your emails it’s quite surprising that we don’t pay more attention when choosing our passwords. However, many of us simply select the first thing that comes to mind – which can have rather disastrous consequences.
The security firm Splashdata, which compiles lists of the passwords that are the most often hacked, found that in 2013 ‘123456’ was the most commonly stolen password – perhaps unsurprisingly given its rather simplistic nature. In 2012, it was ‘password,’ which is an even more obvious choice. Whilst these might be easy enough remember for you remember that this also makes this type of password pretty simple for a hacker to guess too. Simplistic, straightforward passwords like this are susceptible to brute force attacks (those where the hacker simply rapid guesses common words) in a way that more carefully chosen passwords aren’t. And now that increasingly sophisticated hacking software is being used, there is even more of a case for making sure your password presents a challenge.
Your password is effectively your first line of defence in keeping your accounts safe, whether that is the contents of your bank account or your emails. Of course it is crucial to pick a password that you can remember but it also needs to be one that isn’t too straightforward – taking the easy option with your password just makes it simpler for potential hackers to get to your information. So, how do you choose a good password? Well there is no set formula but length, randomness, the addition of numbers, punctuation and upper and lower case letters will all make your password more difficult to hack.
If you need some advice on passwords for your business ITC Secure Networking provides comprehensive security consultancy that includes infrastructure and security management – feel free to get in touch for more information.