I was reading why online password guessing is a threat article from Science Daily this afternoon when suddenly I realized how much big mistake I was making with my online account.
Today the world is connected with Internet. People have accounts online. Tradings are done online. People have online accounts with their banks which they use to pay money, receive money etc. Basically everything is becoming electronic. But this has a cost too which we may not have thought about.
HACKERS. We may have heard about big sites being taken down by hackers or someone’s bank account being breached. This is a serious issue. It may not be at a mass scale now but it can be.
Imagine you have a hundred thousand dollar in your account and the next day you wake up to see that it has disappeared from your account. What will be your reaction. I am pretty sure you will be shocked. So, what have you done wrong then? let’s try to see it.
According to Science Daily, researches conducted by experts from the UK and China shows that people use the same password for multiple accounts and that’s true. I have to admit that I use the same password almost for all the online accounts that I have.
If that is the case, then if hackers managed to gain access to your password somehow then it means that they have access to all my online accounts.
People also often use their personal information for creating their password. It can be their names, date of birth, their social security numbers, place they were born. We disclose these information widely on the internet.
If you are registering any online form, most of the time you disclose their information. If hackers manage to collect these databases then they can guess the password of an individual.
According to Science Daily, researchers from Lancaster University, Peking University and Fuijan University developed the framework which they used to guess passwords. They used multiple information collected from various sources, passwords from other online accounts and they found out that they could guess more than 73% of password of normal users. This shows how dangerous it can be.
What can we do to prevent our passwords from being hacked
- First we should avoid using same passwords for all online accounts. You can’t be sure about the legitimacy of all the online sites. Some may be phishing sites. Make sure to check the review of the sites before you register on them.
- You shouldn’t be using your personal information in your password.
- It’s better if you change your password after a certain time period.
- Use additional layer of security offered by websites such as your phone number, finger print etc. in addition to your password to log into your account.
- Use complex passwords consisting of symbols, numbers and digits. Make sure your password is not a word from the dictionary.
- Don’t ever save the password of your online accounts in your internet browser if it requests, specially if you are using other’s computer.
- If the websites allow you to check how many devices are connected to your account or from which locations they were accessed then try to check it from time to time. This will allow you to see if someone else has accessed your account.
- Also from the server side, website should develop a strong security system so that hackers can’t breach. Most of the website allow a certain number of time to guess the password. I think the guideline is about 100 times within 30 days period. This should be minimized so that the account gets locked when someone tries more than the allowed guessing limit.
- Many of us may have the habit of writing password on a notebook and keeping it secretly. I don’t think it is safe. If you have passwords which are very very important for you such as online bank account password then I urge you not to write it anywhere. Remember it.
These are some of the things which you can do to be safe.