Tuesday 1 November 2005

Password Security tips...

Passowords and pin numbers have become a big part of our lives now. Our passwords are as significant as our signatures except that you can never know who typed in the password. Keeping it safely can be a daunting task and that's why I've come up with these tips to help you out.

To know how we can keep our passwords safe first we need to know how hackers work.
Hackers seem to use 2 main kinds of attacks(techniques) with which they can figure out our passwords.
The first one is called the "dictionary attack" this simply means that the person uses a program that tries everyword in the dictionary until it can log in. So if your password is some word in the dictionary the hacker is going to say "bingo! I've got the change to log into their account!"
The other kind of attack is called 'brute force attack". This means that the culprit uses a program that tries out every single combination until it finds a match. for example it is going to try every single aplhanumeric character. Then try combination of one alpha numeric letter plus another. Like aa then ab then ac then ad and so on (you get the idea right!).

change passwords. simple password changing tips, ctrl+ alt+del. then change the password. but if it is a website then go to your account area where you can usually find links to change your password/account information.

Just like that some ingenious evil master minds came up with this idea:
Use a card reader when you swipe you card so that they know the card info. Then when you type in your pin(like in the debit cards and all that) they record that using video cameras. And voila instant access to your stuff!

A few days ago the police also busted a few people who were making credit cards and this goes to show that how techniques can be used to cause "identity theft"

Quick tips for safe passwords and drive away "to be identity thieves"
  1. Never use a dictionary word!
  2. Try to make it eight cahracters or so
  3. Make sure the passwod is alpha-numeric
  4. Never use the same password in different palces. Unless you consider that the account might not be important that way you can use the same password for low priority accounts(this way you can log into every account if you have lots of them).
  5. Always make sure no camera or person is watching you while you put in your credit card/atm pin number
  6. Also try to minimize online shopping this way the chances of phishing (phishing means that the hackers make a site that looks exactly like the original one but it isn't so if you put in your password and username and credit card no. the info goes directly to them. then using that info they hack into your real account and ... you get the idea)/hacking are more less
  7. Never trust anybody even if you know them(because you never know if somebody is forcing them to do something)
  8. Make sure that you change your passowrd every now and then so that people can't log into your account unless
  9. Finally make sure that you check your bills, and log into accounts once every week or so because if somebody has hacked in or witdhdrawn any money you are going to know!

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