Breaching into your account(s) is one thing we all want to avoid. Why? When your data or information falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to manipulate you. You data could be used as leverage for ransom, criminal activities, or even sold to your competitor. Well this could be as a result of using weak password(s), or say your biometric data is hacked, among others.
But in this article we really want to look at the password bit. Cybersafety is vital. Passwords are a big part of that. While many might agree with these stances in theory, putting it into practice is where things get a bit troublesome. According to an article published by Troy Hunt, 86% of passwords are terrible. Terrible as, 123456, qwerty, password, abc123, to mention a few. These kind of passwords are already leaked in other data breaches and available to attackers in plain text — so it would be easy to have your data/info stolen.
Most passwords are obtained in two ways; deceptive e-mail phishing and third-party breaches. A study Google and University of California Berkeley cybersecurity experts conducted showed that 12 million credentials obtained from phishing and 3.3 billion credentials through third-party breaches.
Terrible, Bad, and Worst passwords as we listed before — are often duplicated. How? If a user has more than one account, they use the same password throughout making them more vulnerable. Call this the ‘Domino Effect’. This effect allows the hacker to take down multiple accounts by simply cracking a single password. In an infographic that was published by Entrepreneur, showed that 73% of online accounts are guarded by duplicate passwords.
But all in all, people should be aware of cyberattacks, because passwords are so vital and crucial in this. Cybersecurity companies including; Cisco, McAfee, Kaspersky, Check Point, HP, Microsoft, even Google among others have always called out internet users to be vigilant on cyberattacks.
So, how strong is your password.
Last month, NITA-U held a cybersecurity training program for Ugandan journalists. The main aim — creating awareness on cyberattacks, as well as the existing cyber laws to go about. And one of the things that was pointed out, PASSWORDS.
Michael Kasede, Procedures Development Head at NITA-U, during his presentation, said, “Internet users should treat their passwords like they do at their underwear.” Meaning, users should often change their passwords, to avoid being a victim attack. He states that passwords can at least be changed on a monthly basis.
Back to the infographic by Entrepreneur, it shows that at least 21% of people use passwords that are over 10 years old. 47% of people use passwords that are at least 5 years old. Most claiming that it’s easier for them to remember.
But to avoid being vulnerable to Black-Hat hackers, at least you should ensure, one. you change you password at least on a monthly basis, two. your password should be alpha-numeric (contains letters, numbers and symbols), and third. never share with anyone.
How can you know that your password is strong? Well! there are number of password authenticators that can help. Today, even different services that you do register have a password checker that tells how strong your password could be.
But, Michael demonstrated to us with www.howstrongismypassword.net, which is able to estimate how long a computer can take to crack your password. The results can be interesting, but do open your eyes. One of the journalists that tried the platform, his password was estimated to be hacked within a month.
SO TRY THE PORTAL (https://howsecureismypassword.net/) OUT AND SEE HOW LONG IT TAKES A COMPUTER TO CRACK YOUR PASSWORD. SHARE YOUR RESULTS IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.