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Password Security Tips


UPDATED: 12/11/2017

Word this week (July 2011) spread across the country as the Arizona Department of Public Safety was hacked by the groups LultSec and Anonymous. And the thing that saddens me most is that one of the officers actually had the password "12345."

Even more so, I was most recently shocked when I received a new modem from my internet provider who said there was a uniquely secure password on the bottom of the modem... only to find out that the "uniquely secure password" they had printed on the bottom of the modem was the word "password." Are you kidding me?!

Passwords are setup for a reason. With certain jobs, there are security risks of which you need to be aware.

When using a typical password length of 8 characters, the times listed below are how long it would take for your password to be hacked by anything from a typical Pentium to a Supercomputer.

  • Using Only Numerals = Instant

  • Using UPPER and lower case letters = 3-1/2 minutes

  • Using UPPER, lower, and numerals = 60-1/2 hours

  • Using UPPER, lower, numerals, and special characters = 83-1/2 days

  • The above examples are cracked when using Supercomputers. When using a typical fast PC, the numbers are as follows:

  • Using Only Numerals = Instant

  • Using UPPER and lower case letters = 35 minutes

  • Using UPPER, lower, and numerals = 253 days

  • Using UPPER, lower, numerals, and special characters = 23 years

You can easily see that the more complicated the password, using a mix of upper, lower, numerals, and special characters, the harder it is to hack.

I know it seems difficult and I know everyone wants to yell at the IT personnel telling you to do this. However, there really is a reason!

To ensure you are using a strong password (and can remember it), use the following tip.

Use numbers to replace letters in a word that is specific to something in your life. This will not only make it more secure, but will make it easier for you to remember.

For example, if I would like to use the word "celestial" as my password, I can type "C3l35T1a1" as the password. Another example would be "security" written as " s3cur1Ty" which replaces the number 3 for the letter e and 1 for the letter i.

Please share my article about password safety. It may save you or a friend one day!


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