29 Apr Hacker-Proof Password Development
For years, 1.2 billion plus websites have been targeted by Russian and Chinese hackers using massive “bot” attacks. These bots aggressively attempt to access websites with username and password capabilities. You read about these attacks every week – celebrities like Emma Watson, Pippa Middleton, Jennifer Lawrence and more have been victimized.
When you create an account on a website, you are very much at the mercy of their suspect technology stack and security policies. But because you’re a 100 Deadly Skills reader, you’re always looking for a way to avoid becoming a victim in any circumstance.
So, here’s a quick lesson in hacker-proof password development.
Strong Usernames Increase the Strength of Passwords!
These days we feel our username has to be our email address, part or portion of first and last names or something easy to remember, like admin, user or student. The fact of the matter is that our usernames are part of our security access system. The problem, USERNAME isn’t thought of as a critical security access code.
So, start thinking of USERNAME as a CODE NAME.
Your email address is NOT a very good CODE NAME!
I recommend that your username never be associated to your personal information, like first or last name, email address and phone number.
Create usernames that feel more like a CODE NAME. Here are some examples: BlackJack, SilentHammer, LandShark, NinjaSmoke27. Remember, your username is part of your security access system – your username and password work hand in hand to keep the bad guys out!
Impenetrable Passwords With 40+ Years of Resistance!
There are lots of tips on password development, but here’s worst case scenario to plan for: A rogue Russian network of hackers decides to penetrate all your access points on the World Wide Web. They are armed with a supercomputer that can “brute force” access all your personal and financial information.
A brute force attack can not be stopped, BUT it can be delayed for 40+ years with proper passwords. Most supercomputers can run every character on a keyboard thousands of times a second, allowing it to run many thousands of combinations of characters per minute. Its not the complexity of a password that makes it hard to crack; its the length of the password.
The more characters in a password, the longer it will take for a supercomputer to run through all the possible combinations of characters. I recommend a 24-character password – the longer the better. Sounds crazy but here are some examples:
Long passwords with a combination of uppercase and special characters will take 40+ years to crack.
Bottom line, strong usernames combined with long passwords will increase the security of your online life exponentially.
Interested in more? The team at WordFence has a great in-depth article on password cracking – highly recommended!