Since the evolution of Internet, Creating a strong Password is an untold sorrow for many of the internet users. A common internet surfer would have atleast one email account, a facebook account (forgive me non-FB users), a twitter account and some accounts in forums and other such websites. Ultimately it becomes a tedious task to maintain all the passwords and every time while we create a new password a set of instructions needs to followed such as:
* The password must have minimum 8 characters and should contain atleast 1 lower case, 1 upper case, 1 numeral and a special character.
* The password shouldn’t contain the words in your username.
* The password shouldn’t be your birth date.
* The password shouldn’t be the same as your answer for the security question.
- These are some sample constraints which companies impose on their users to avoid security breach.
The question here is, Are these constraints good enough to avoid security breach? Obviously No is the answer, but it does make your password more secure, hard to break, tough to crack.
So what is this cracking and breaking all about? Let’s have a basic idea on how passwords are broken.
* The most obvious attempt is trial and error with random words but mostly meaningful words like godsaveme, password, password123, letmein, superman, theearth, sunday…. - But if the intruder knows the nature of the person whose account he/she is hacking into, a handy research will reveal more relevant data about them and it helps the intruder to select right set of words for trial and error.
* Brute Force Attack – The easiest way but requires a lot of computing power (Yes, we have a lot already!) . It just starts from a single character and it grows to multiple levels until the password is broken. so it starts from a then b then c and it goes on like aaa, aab, aac, until there is a result.
* Dictionary Attack – It’s just same as pattern matching. Your password will be matched against the set of words in English Dictionary. Say if you have your password Adam or Apple which is a perfect English word found in any dictionary then it’ll be cracked in (milli)seconds.
There are lot of other ways but these are the most basic attacks and used even by a beginner who attempts to crack the passwords.
Having said this, here are few tips to create a strong password.
* Randomly enter numbers which look similar to letters instead of letters in your passwords. Example: ModelSchool. – M0d3lsch0o1
* Randomly enter Upper case letters in your password – Example: ModelSchool – mOdElsCHooL.
* To err is human and a meaningful error in your password makes it stronger – Example: ModelSchool – Maadalskoool.
* Randomly enter special characters replacing letters in the password – Example: ModelSchool – Mode!Sch**l
* If you think you ran out of words then abbreviate a big sentence to form a compact password – Example: ILikeToDrinkMilkEveryNight – ILTDMEN.
One more thing, Never create a password with your name or your close relation’s name – Oh! How someone might know my Mother’s name or brother’s name? – Your social network accounts are simple enough to reveal this.
It is not a very tough task to create a strong password but it does require a decent thinking. If you think you have a created a strong password, Click here to estimate the strength of your password.