Passwords. Don't Use Your Imagination!

Author
Ben Hancock
Managing Director | Yellow Room Learning
4th January 2018
Member roleChamber member

Infosec awareness begins with knowing how to create strong passwords.  So what is considered a strong password and how can you remember it?  This guide will provide the answers, helping you to improve your cyber security!

What is the ideal password? When asked to change their password most people agonise over the decision.  We look around the room searching for inspiration, we use our children’s names, our hobbies, our favourite football team.  There are even websites out there offering suggestions of ‘strong passwords’…a password cracker’s dream!

Creating strong passwords should take NO imagination at all. In fact, the more random the password, the stronger it becomes.  Imagine your cat walking across your keyboard, that is what you are aiming for! Ideally, a strong password should consist of at least 12 random characters made up of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. The key word to remember is ‘random’.  Here are a few other important tips for creating passwords:

  • Do not use any words, phrases, or information that are personal to you.
  • Do not recycle passwords by simply increasing the number at the end.
  • Avoid using the same password across many accounts. Cyber criminals will try a stolen password across hundreds of websites in the hope that you have used the same one multiple times.
  • Backup your passwords and keep them secure.

 Using Password Manager Software

The trouble with random passwords is that your brain might not be able to remember them all, unless you are lucky enough to have a photographic memory!   You can use complex random passwords more easily by installing a password manager application on your computer. A password manager can store all of your account details, including usernames and passwords. In most cases, the password manager will even log into the selected accounts for you, which means you won’t have to type the password.

The majority of password manager applications also have ‘password generators’.  The passwords they create are truly random and have not been influenced by your brain, either consciously or sub-consciously. So, if you do have lots of unique passwords and you have difficulty remembering them why not consider one of the many password manager applications out there. Before selecting one do some research, read some reviews, and make sure you are comfortable with the level of protection it provides.

Did you know… Using the right technology, it takes an accomplished hacker approximately 0.0756 seconds to crack a 6 character password. Increase it to 10 characters and this time increases to around 2.83 weeks.  Which passwords do you think they will go after first?

Of course, infosec awareness is more than just a strong password, but it’s a really good start.  For more information on passwords, infosec awareness and how you train your employees to improve data security contact Yellow Room Learning on 0800 292 2900.

About Yellow Room Learning
Yellow Room Learning is a leading provider of infosec awareness training.  Our team can help your business by training staff to have better infosec awareness and cyber security awareness.  Contact us today to learn more!

 

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