Posts Tagged ‘#dictionary’

Passwords

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis October 6th, 2011

There’s an exception to the double entry rule I talked about last time.  Any time you enter a new password, you should have to enter it twice.  I know it’s a pain, but there’s a really good reason for it.  It makes sure that you didn’t typo the password, and be locked out afterwards.   To help you keep things straight, I recommend you choose a strong and weak password for all your sites/programs, and just use those two, changing occasionally.  You can use the weak one for stuff that’s not worrisome (the Betty Crocker Recipe site, for example), and strong ones for sensitive or critical accounts.  A fun way to create a strong password is to use a word that means something to you, but replace letters with characters.  For example, use @ for a small letter A, ! = i, zero = letter O, etc.  This can help you be creative, and prevent what are called DICTIONARY attacks.  Any system that will allow multiple login attempts can be hacked this way, given enough time.  The hacker just uses a program that rotates through every word in the dictionary.  After dictionary attacks, they can simply use a BRUTE FORCE method and send every possible combination until they HIT.  But this can take a LONG time, depending on the complexity of password.  This is why most accounts LOCK OUT automatically after a few misfired attempts.