4 Reasons Your Passwords are Easy to Hack
Jackie here. Is your password hackable? Often, your password is the only thing standing between thieves and your identity, but most of us aren’t choosing strong ones. Many times we choose passwords that are easy to hack (and easy to remember) and basically hand thieves the keys to our identities. If you want stronger passwords, learn about ways to improve the strength of your passwords and give it a shot. A stronger, more secure password is achievable.
Easy to Remember, Easy to Hack
Are you using your dog’s name as you bank account password? It is human nature to choose easy to remember passwords and hackers often prey on this tendency. Those super simple passwords are some of the easiest to hack. Avoid using common dates (anniversaries, birthdates), names of pets or family members, common words, etc.
While easy to remember passwords aren’t the best choice for your most sensitive accounts (like bank and financial accounts, health accounts, email, etc.), they can work well on accounts where sensitive information isn’t at risk. You don’t need a 16 digit password complete with symbols for every account. Choosing the easier to remember passwords for your less sensitive accounts may save some room in your memory for the complex passwords you need to protect your most important information.
Repeated Passwords- Hack One Get them All
Do you use the same password across multiple accounts? This common password tactic can lead to hacking. Banks and other financial websites often have heavy security that can be difficult to penetrate. Other websites probably don’t have the same level of security. Thieves often take the road of least resistance and breach those easier to hack sites to gain your login credentials to more lucrative, more secure sites. If you’re using the same password for your bank account and your favorite clothing store, you’re making a big mistake.
Making a few little changes to passwords from site to site is also a risky move. Hackers can often figure out the method you’re using and determine your password for other sites too. Never use the name of the website in your password.
You’re Using a Common Password
If your password appears on the list below, change it immediately. These passwords are some of the most common passwords at the moment (and none of them are a good password choice).
- 123456 (or its variations: 12345678, 123123, 87654321, 1234567890, etc.)
- password (or password + a number: password1, etc.)
- iloveyou (also risky: ilovejohn, etc.)
- adobe123 (or Microsoft, photoshop, etc.)
You’re Trying Too Hard
Technically the most secure passwords include upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, but not every good password has all of these elements. Length has a big impact on how easy your password is to crack. A longer, easier to remember password is often more secure than a shorter password even if it’s packed with symbols, numbers, etc.
To see how secure your passwords are (please don’t use your actual password, try similar passwords instead) try the free tool at howsecureismypassword.net. This password checker will tell you how long it would take a PC to crack your password using a brute force attack. The password mN1@6p would take about 52 seconds to crack while banana bubblegum would take 2 billion years. Which one is easier to remember?