The importance of a password

Unauthorized access is a potentially major problem for anyone who uses a computer or high-tech devices such as smartphones or tablets. The consequences for victims of these break-ins can include the loss of valuable data such as presentations, emails, and music. Victims may also have their bank account information, money, or even their identity stolen. 

One of the most common ways that hackers break into computers is by guessing passwords. Simple and commonly used passwords enable intruders to easily gain access and control of a computing device.

There are key points of password security that users must know in order to reduce the likelihood of a hacker cracking their password and thus gaining access to their device.

  • Most importantly, passwords must be long and complex.
  • Long and complex passwords require more effort and time for a hacker to guess.
  • Passwords should contain at least ten characters and have a combination of characters such as commas, percent signs, and parentheses, as well as upper-case and lower-case letters and numbers.
  • Users should never write down their passwords, as that makes it easier for the passwords to be stolen and used by someone else.
  • Also, never use the same password for two or more devices, as hackers who break into one machine will try to use the same password to take control of others.

On mobile devices, a PIN or pass code is also needed. This is like a password for a computer, but it may have a minimum of four characters or digits and be something that is not personal or easily guessed. Pass codes for devices should also be set to time out after a short period of time. Upon timing out, the code will then need to be re-entered. Ideally, the timeout should occur in no more than 20 minutes, although shorter periods between time-outs are best.

Careless use of passwords, however, can be as bad as leaving one’s computing devices unprotected. For this reason, people should create and protect their passwords with care.

Article courtesy of SECURE DATA RECOVERY

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