Anyone thinking a simple five or six letter combination will prevent hackers from discovering their password, is setting themselves up for a big hurt.
A password containing five to six lowercase letters will take 10 seconds to 10 minutes to figure out, while seven will take a day. Eight letters up to 90 days, with nine taking six months, and a 10 letter password goes right off the charts into thousands of years.
A computer password consisting of 10 numbers allows for 10 billion combinations in our common numbering system (base ten), meaning there are 10 choices for each 10 digits.
Now think about it from the standpoint of also using the alphabet with 26, and 52 combinations when you include uppercase letters.
Then put them all together to create a super-safe password consisting of a mix of eight or more upper and lower case letters with numbers, ensuring there are roughly 100 combinations per character. When symbols are also allowed, those combinations rise exponentially.
Hacking For Money
The common misconception is a hacker will never bother with the average everyday person’s computer account, but are more inclined to go after the rich and famous.
For the most part pro hackers are definitely interested in the larger companies and corporations, or the very well-to-do individuals where the payout would be much more significant for their efforts.
But, for the kid hacking for pocket change to buy a case of beer or feed a drug habit, any online bank account password would be a gold mine worth the small effort it takes to hack.
Those who choose to use a five or six character online password, enable these people to become hackers by making it easy to beat the system.
Simple passwords are used because they are easy to remember. It becomes tiresome and irritating, having to sort out and remember each and every password for all the accounts we need to get into on a daily basis.
Taking the easy way out we gravitate toward the easiest password to remember, usually a name, a word, or a combination of the two. It would seem logical if my pet’s name is Wendy, and my seventh grade teacher was a bit weird, ‘weirdwendy’ might be a terrific password. How could anyone wanting to break into an online account possibly come up with that combination.
Hacking is a sophisticated endeavor having come a long way in recent years. More so with the astounding advances in technology. There exist computer programs specifically designed to assist individuals determined to rob us of our identity, or get into our bank accounts.
The complexity of these programs is astounding, providing name dictionaries which include virtually every name ever invented, including Bible names and those of other religious books, family names, pets, cars, cigarettes, movie stars, sports athletes, race horse names, presidents, kings, queens, and even names spelled backwards.
These programs are so readily available on the Internet, it is like an app store for hackers out there.
With a click of a mouse, billions of computations can happen in the space of seconds using these programs to arrive at the correct answer or in this case, password.
To illustrate the point of how easy some people make it for others to discover their password, here is a sampling of the more commonly-used-passwords these dictionaries provide: 123456, 098765, 12345678, abc123, 123abc, abcxyz, xyzabc, abcdefg, 13579, 24680, aabbcc, xxyyzz, zzzzzz, logmein, logout, and even the word ‘password’.
Others include birth dates (mm/dd/yy ), which can be successfully accessed in less than 10 seconds with the right computer program.
There are programs that check for misspelled words, words spelled backwards, even Klingon names and words. If someone thinks they have the greatest easy-to-remember password, it likely already resides in some dictionary, waiting.
Eight or More
The larger the password the better the chances for not having an account broken into. A mix of eight or more characters are proven deterrents against hackers. It may be a bit more difficult to remember and correctly type out, but a whole lot of precaution is preferable to losing one’s identity or funds in a bank account.
There is a reason some sites stipulate a password contain a combination of eight or more letters and numbers.
With the constant Internet warnings and the heavy media barrage covering the proliferation of hacking schemes, it boggles the mind that many users continually prefer to use an easy no-frills password, regardless if it includes online banking or not.
It is equivalent to posting the password on a public bulletin board, and hoping no one will notice.