Monday, May 1, 2017

Tips on how to stay safe online, my real story

Strong password policies have come a long way. When I created my very first online account many, many years ago, my password was the word “cool” (don’t judge me, ok? I was very young at the time). That password has long since been changed, to something much more secure, but passwords still remain part of everyday life as more and more of the services we rely upon are managed online through websites or mobile applications. Users today are inundated with passwords they must remember. Think about it. Website logins, email accounts, social media accounts, banking accounts, smartphone passcodes, ATM pin numbers, and home security system alarm codes all require some type of password. Creating a strong password policy is key to helping users safeguard these critical systems they rely on every day. 

Some facts to remember: 

  • 73% of users have the same password for multiple sites, 33% use the same password every time.
  • Every extra character in your password increases the difficulty for hackers to crack it.
  • An 8-character password with letters (upper & lower case) and includes numbersand symbols has 6,095,689,385,410,816 possible combinations.

Passwords such as “mustacheehcatsum” (that’s “mustache” spelled forward and then backward) may give the appearance of strong security, but they’re easily cracked by isolating their patterns, then writing rules that augment the words contained in the [2009 hack of online games service] RockYou [...]and similar lists. For [security penetration tester] Redman to crack “Sup3rThinkers”, he employed rules that directed his software to try not just “super” but also “Super”, “sup3r”, “Sup3r”, “super!!!” and similar modifications. It then tried each of those words in combination with “thinkers”, “Thinkers”, “think3rs”, and “Think3rs”.

Use the Norton Identity Safe Password Generator to create highly secure passwords that are difficult to crack or guess. Just select the criteria for the passwords you need, and click "Generate Password(s)". Remember, the more options you choose, the more secure the passwords will be. 

Access the Norton generator here.


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