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Passwords are the most basic level of security employed in the workplace, so it’s very important to choose a strong one. Password hacking has become much easier and faster as there are tools which run through every combination of letters, numbers and symbols until they find the right one. For this reason, you need more than just six lowercase letters – such passwords can be broken in as little as 0.23 milliseconds, making them worthless if someone decides to hack your account.
Adding an extra letter does help, but the way to create a really strong password is to have a random combination of different cases, numbers and symbols. Adding an exclamation mark and an uppercase letter to even a terrible example like ‘password’ can take the cracking time from under a second to over a millennia. In comparison, adding two letters to the end only improves it by around three months. The best strategy is to lengthen your password to at least twelve different characters.
An Extra Defence
Aside from hacking software, there are many ways in which people can guess or find out your password. We recommend the following;
Have a different password for every site you use, because if one gets hacked and your login details are revealed, they could get into any other site that uses the same password.
Make sure you memorise your passwords, writing them down means anyone in your office can read them.
Be aware when using WiFi in public. A popular hacking method now is the Man-In-The-Middle attack (MITM) where a hacker spies on traffic using public WiFi, such as in an internet cafe, to get access to your personal information, including passwords.
An often overlooked layer is security questions. Be mindful of what you use for these If someone trying to get into your account knows some of your personal or background information, they could reset your password and lock you out of your account.
Spyware or malware can be used to track your internet traffic and the keys you use to login to certain accounts.
If your information is available to the public via social media or anything else, hackers are one step closer to guessing any password that contains, for example, family member’s names. Their hacking software can check for passwords with this personal information in it first of all.
One method of securing your accounts is by using two-factor authentication, where you need an extra login detail along with your username and password. This is often a code sent to your phone via text message or an application, which only works for a limited time. This then needs to be entered into the site in order to log in. Every time you log in, a new code has to be generated as the previous one would have either been used or timed out. Although this takes longer, it greatly improves the security of your accounts, as to access them, a hacker would have to steal your login details and your phone in order to receive the code.