Tuesday, 12 March 2019

CyberSafe Alert 2019 Edition 2

The Unhackable Password?

Welcome to the second CyberSafe alert of 2019. It seems not a week goes by without yet another report of passwords being hacked because the unwitting victim used the name of their favourite pet, child, car (insert favourite thing here...) being used as their password. That’s the subject of this edition of the cybersafe alert
In the CyberSafe book we talk about the various ways to safeguard your passwords. These include multi-factor authentication, password managers, cold storage etc. In this cyber alert however the focus is on how to create easy to remember passwords that are tough to hack.

The problem with a lot of sites that ask you to create strong passwords is that all too often these passwords are so complicated that you end up forgetting them yourself, which kind of defeats the whole object of the exercise.

One straightforward way to create a memorable strong password is to make your password a sentence. A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12-14 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about, and that are easy to remember for example, “Come0nYou$purs”. On many sites you can even use spaces, so for example “Come On You $purs”. You can play around by substituting letters for numbers and symbols like the previous two examples to make the phrase even stronger.

An even stronger alternative is to think of a sentence or phrase that you can easily remember. For example, “Simon really loves Italian red wine in the summertime, because he goes to Italy every year!” Then you could use that sentence as a code by inserting the first letter in each word as the password: SrlIrwits,bhgtIey! and then make it more secure by adding/substituting numbers and special characters for the letters. 5rlIrw1t$,bhg7I3y! That’s a very secure password, AND it’s a LOT easier to remember. It would take centuries for a supercomputer to crack that one. Or at least a lot longer than the name of your favourite pet!

Hopefully you’ll avoid being hacked by using one of these methods to secure your passwords.

Following the advice inCyberSafe should go a long way to keeping you safe online. As we like to say at the CyberSafe alert - Don’t Be Scared; Be Prepared

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If you can't wait for the next CyberSafe Alert to tell you how to protect yourself online, get CyberSafe the book. It's packed with the useful information and strategies you need to keep yourself, your family, and your business safe online.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the content provided in this post is accurate and helpful for our readers. However, this is not an exhaustive treatment of the subjects. No liability is assumed for losses or damages due to the information provided. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results.

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