Why are the passwords important?
We use passwords every day to access our e-mail accounts, bank accounts, Facebook and Twitter accounts and hundreds of other services.
There is great temptation to use one password for all accounts and to make it short and easy to remember. However, this has devastating
effect on our security and privacy. If you think that you have nothing to hide, think again. In most cases the passwords are cracked not from
mere curiosity but with malicious purposes - to use your computer as spam bot, to steal some of your money, to infect your computer with
computer viruses and spyware and so on.
What makes a password weak and easy to crack? In most cases the attacker does not try to guess your password manually. Instead, he
uses an automated computer program that tries many passwords in very fast succession in order to find a match. Here are some examples of
- Generic passwords and default passwords. Examples: admin, administrator, user, guest, pass, password, etc.
These are the first passwords that are tried by the password cracking software.
- Meaningful words or names. Examples: sandbox, NY, lion, john, mary, USA, etc. Easily cracked by the dictionary-assisted cracking tools.
- Words or names with added numbers. Examples: john123, pass123, 123456, number1, etc. Easily cracked by the automated cracking tools.
- Personal names, birthdates or similar information. These are used a lot as passwords and are very easily cracked. For example, if the password is a
birthday, there are only hundreds or few thousands (if the year is included) possible combinations, which is very weak for a password.
As you can see, all easy passwords are not safe. But how to choose safe passwords? The most important thing is to avoid using the same
password for different computers or services. If you follow this rule, even if one of your passwords is cracked or otherwise compromised,
the other passwords will be safe.
The above rule will not do you much good if all your passwords are weak and easy to guess. It is hard to come up with hundreds completely different and
strong passwords and it is even harder to remember them. You can use the secure random password generator of Mil Shield to generate unlimited number of
very strong passwords.