Hackers easily crack weak passwords
Examples of weak passwords are those that feature common words, include your well-known personal information, or are less than eight characters long. Hackers don’t need to expend much effort to crack these types of passwords. Instead, they can use these three techniques to hack your passwords:
- Dictionary attacks. This type of attack relies on programs that cycle through a predetermined list of common words or phrases often used in passwords. To protect your accounts from dictionary attacks, avoid using common words and phrases in your passwords.
- Social media information. Our social media accounts are gold mines of information. Posting photos of your new puppy, Buddy, or displaying the name of your high school may sound harmless. But cybercriminals can use the information you provide to access your accounts. “What is the name of your pet?” and “Which high school did you go to?” are standard security questions your account’s system may ask as part of a password verification process whether it’s you answering or a hacker.
- Password crackers. Programs called password crackers use brute force to break a password by repeatedly trying millions of combinations of characters until the password is cracked. Shorter and less complex passwords are quicker to guess for these types of programs.