“How I’d Hack Your Passwords”
By Stacy Whelchel
This interesting MSN article is written by an internet security expert who reveals how easily passwords can be uncovered by hackers. This story also includes tips for creating stronger logins to help combat the problem.
The author writes that the most common passwords include:
- A spouse’s, child’s or pet’s name, possibly followed by a 0 or 1 because sometimes a number is required
- 123 or 1234 or 123456
- Your city, a college, or a football team name
- Yours or a family member’s date of birth
There’s also software that determines password and user name pairings on merchant sites, he said. Once several pairings are found, other sites are hit relying on cookies to produce stored, unencrypted user login IDs in the Web browser’s cache.
Since it’s usually better to be proactive rather than reactive, here are his tips for stronger passwords:
- Randomly substitute numbers for letters that look similar, like using the number zero for the letter “O” – Throw in a capital letter somewhere
- Pick different user names and password combinations for all online accounts
It is also important to remember that Pre-Paid Legal Services’ Identity Theft Shield (SM) and the Life Events Legal Plan (SM) combine to create a valuable benefit that assists victims when hackers log in and take away confidential information.