Thu 21 Jun 2012
Friends, Romans, Countrymen. We live in an age where the only thing separating you from online theft or your friends from your spam is your password. By a show of hands, how many of you here today have a password that has at least one dictionary word in it? How many of you use a simple numerical sequence or single number in their password? Finally, how many of you today use a password that is used in at least one other place? That’s a lot of hands. Okay put down your hands.
Today, as a public service to you and as a protection to the Techlife inbox we are going to change all of that. In one fell swoop all three of the common password concerns can be addressed. Of course let’s first address the, “Why does this password thing even have to be so complex?”
When you use a simple password, it makes it simple to guess. If a hacker’s malicious virus script or someone who knows you well can guess your password they often start with simple words. Words found in the dictionary.
Of course hacker’s know you aren’t an idiot, you took the precaution of sticking “some number” often at the end of your password. Year of your birth? Year you were married? Or maybe just “12345” so you could remember it.
Which leads to the last issue, your memory. You, like most people can’t possibly remember all the passwords for all the places you sign up. There are many tools to help you remember if you are diligent enough to store and then retrieve your passwords when needed, but what’s even easier? Taking that simple dictionary word plus “12345″ and using it everywhere on every site. Easy. And when a hacker gets your password, they have it for not just one place, but every place.
Even one of these practices puts a high amount of risk your password will be hacked. Most people by your show of hands, repeatedly do all three. Dictionary word or words + simple string of numbers + same password everywhere = risk of Techlife inbox getting stuffed with spam from you.
The Reverse Password Hack How To (Hide in Plain Sight)
Quick, what’s your favorite movie? Favorite song? Favorite vacation spot? Favorite dish? Let’s use my favorite movie Hoosiers.
- Create a sentence about that favorite thing making sure to have some proper nouns, a number and with a blank.
- Sample: In 1954 Hickory Coach Norman Dale didn’t use _____.
- Visit our first site where you need a password, say Amazon.
- Your current password as we exposed is likely named after your dog, spot1234.
- Your new password should complete the sentence you created.
- My sample: In 1954 Hickory Coach Norman Dale didn’t use Amazon.
- That’s a very long password full of dictionary words so we add one more twist, use only the first letter of each word:
- Hidden in plain sight: I1954HCNDduAmazon.
Now, that’s a password! Using The Password Meter a rating tool which ranks passwords on 16 various criteria, spot1234 gets a score of 44% and a complexity of “Good”. Our easy to remember sentence password, I1954HCNDduAmazon. has a score of 100% and a complexity of “Very Strong.”
This password passes the dictionary and hard to guess test, the consecutive numbers test and gives you a chance to change the password for each and every site you visit. Finally the best part is humans have a good memory for sentences and phrases and this a great way to have a unique password that is easy to remember.
So pick a poem, song lyric, or a sentence you make up yourself. How creative can you get?