5 Points That Disprove All You Thought of Passwords

  There is almost an information piece going out every day on how to make your passwords more secure than before. Many online platfor...


 

There is almost an information piece going out every day on how to make your passwords more secure than before. Many online platforms will even force you to use strong passwords before granting you access. Likewise, firms have now come up with the idea of mandating password changes from time to time to promote a healthier password culture.
All that, and it is still surprising to know that security breaches have climbed by 67% over the course of the past five years.
Sometimes, it’s not the passwords. Sometimes, it’s just the misconceptions we have of these passwords.

1 Perception is not always reality

There is no better way to begin than this. In fact, the biggest problem many people have when it comes to passwords is that they let their perceptions get in the way of what’s real – and what’s not.
This was confirmed in a recent study by CyLab which concluded that people will always vote for passwords they feel are more secure. In reality, those passwords are inherently unsafe.
For example, a series of participants thought the password ‘ieatkale88’ was just as secure as ‘iloveyou88.’
Both passwords contain alphanumeric characters and have the same length. However, these people fail to take into consideration the commonness of the words ‘iloveyou’ which made the password four billion times easier to guess than the other.

2 Password managers are rescuing the day

One of the best password practices is that you never use the same login IDs for more than one account. That way, you can be sure any attack will be restricted to the account it is happening on.
The average person has tens of accounts they need passwords for, so it might be difficult to remember everything. Thus, password managers became a great fit.
Interestingly, the Pew Research Centre found out that only about 12% of Americans rely on password managers for proper storage of their login credentials. A massive 49% would rather write things down while a larger 86% of them prefer to memorize the passwords for later.
There goes the genius of password managers.

3 Users are becoming more password savvy

If not for the mandatory restrictions put on certain websites and apps which force users to set strong passwords, many users will prefer to use weak passwords instead. The logic behind this reasoning is not concrete yet, but that doesn’t stop it from happening.

These users will also use the same passwords again on multiple accounts, and still share them with other people. Unfortunately, this is not just limited to personal data as company information is also on the line in many of these cases too.
Interestingly, this trend might not go anywhere anytime soon.
After all, IBM and SailPoint conducted independent researches which show that younger people are even poorer at keeping great passwords than the older generation. If this degenerative trend continues, the increment in hacking cases might be uncontainable in years to come.

4 Special characters are everything

Do you know how websites will encourage you to use special characters to make your passwords stronger? Well, that’s not the whole story.
You could still use those special characters and be an easier target that someone who didn’t.
Comparing the cases of ‘p@ssw0rd’ and ‘pAssw0rd,’ it would be easier for an unauthorized user to hack the former account than they would the latter one. Putting things in context, it would take 4000 fewer guesses to crack the password with an ‘@’ sign in it – simply because hackers know how common it is for users to replace letters with like symbols today.
Thus, the best way to use special characters in your passwords is in a way that they are not predictable.

5 No one can figure out your password

So, you have chosen one of the longest passwords known to man. In fact, you have added in special characters for effect while sprinkling some lowercase and uppercase combinations all around.
Congratulations – but you have only made it harder for your password to be guessed, not impossible.
Edward Snowden is someone who would know a lot about getting around passwords, and he believes an 8-character password can be cracked in about a second by a modern computer.
Of course, the time will increase significantly with the number of characters in your password, as well as the combinations they come in. However, with time and resources, that password will be laid to waste.

Don’t Panic Yet

Everything above is not there to make you panic. They are just there to inform you of how your most prized password habits might not be truly doing anything for your data privacy and security.
To stay ahead of the game, always:
       Set strong passwords – a combination of length, uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols should get the job done
       Keep your devices up to date – you don’t want to be caught out on app/ system firmware vulnerabilities
       Use different passwords for different accounts – and store them in a password manager
       Be careful with links in emails. Don’t click on links from an untrusted source.

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