How Strong Is My Password?

How strong is my password

How Strong Is My Password?

Having a strong password can be the difference between keeping the money in your bank account or not. A password serves as the primary access point to your online identity, much like your house keys do. We all have a lot of private information stored in our internet accounts that we wish to keep safe. However, the majority of it is only secured by weak passwords.

That is why hackers are constantly on the lookout for weak points where they may crack your password and gain access to your digital life. Data breaches and identity theft are on the rise, with leaked passwords frequently being the reason. 

Passwords may be used to initiate misinformation campaigns against organizations, exploit people’s financial information for purchases, and eavesdrop on individuals using WiFi-connected security cameras once thieves have stolen credentials. 

This article was written to help in your understanding of password security.

Test your Password Strength now with this free password strength checking tool:

A strong password is one you can’t guess or crack using a brute force attack. Strong passwords consist of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special symbols. Hackers usually use powerful computers to perform a brute force attack in order to crack weak passwords, and passwords that are short and easy to guess are usually cracked in minutes.  

UIC’s password strength test is a tool you can use directly in your browser, free of charge. 

You can use this tool to test the strength of your password. 

This page contains controls and explanations to get you started. Using this it’s easy to see how to improve your password strength in real-time.

Is it essential to know how secure my password is?

In recent years, the globe has witnessed hackers gaining access to credit card information, airline accounts, and identity theft.

What is the best way to deal with this growing threat? To safeguard our websites, blogs, social media accounts, email addresses, and other accounts, we create strong passwords. The next question is: how do you know your password is strong enough to keep you safe from outside threats?

A strong password is the key to protecting your online presence, and no matter how thick and sturdy your walls are, if the door lock can be easily unlocked then your online presence will be compromised.

How to create a strong password?

Here are some of the best practices for creating secure passwords:

  • A password should be at least 16 characters long; according to our password study, 45 % use passwords of eight characters or fewer, which are less secure than passwords of 16 characters or more.
  • A password should be made up of letters, numbers, and special characters.
  •  It is never a good idea to share a password with anybody else.
  • No personal information about the user, such as their address or phone number, should be included in a password. It’s also a good idea to leave out any information that may be found on social media, such as your children’s or pets’ names. 
  • No consecutive letters or digits should be used in a password.
  • Never use the term “password” or the same letter or number twice in a password.
 

Try using a long phrase that has some relevance to you. This phrase should not include publicly available information though.

Here are a few examples:

  • TheDogWentDownRoute66
  • AllDogsGoToHeaven1967
  • Catch22CurveBalls
 
 
weak vs strong password

What makes a password strong?

The length (the longer the better), a combination of letters (upper and lower case), digits, and symbols, no linkages to your personal information, and no dictionary terms are all important features of a secure password. 

The good news is that to incorporate all of these qualities in your passwords, you don’t need to memorize long strings of random characters, numbers, and symbols. All you need are a few techniques.

How to automate your passwords securely?

So you’ve decided on a password that’s the perfect length, obscure, and includes letters, numbers, and capitalization. You’re on the right track, but you’re still a long way away from complete password security. 

Even if you create a good and long password, it doesn’t mean that you’ll remember it. Use a tool like Google Password Manager and multi-factor-authentication to protect your passwords and store them.

Don't use the same password over and over again

If you use the same password for email, shopping, and other websites that store sensitive personal data (or even a local community website), you’ve now put all of your other services at risk.

Never jot down your passwords

It’s tempting to keep track of passwords the old-fashioned way, particularly in the workplace, but this is easily discovered. If you have passwords written down, it is best to keep them under lock and key.

One password to rule them all (password managers)

There are several applications that safely save your credentials. If you have dozens of passwords to keep track of, a password manager can keep your credentials secure. Google Password Manager, Bitwarden and LastPass are good tools for password management. They are also capable of storing other credentials such as credit cards, crypto currency wallet seed and secure notes. 

When using a password manager, you’ll need to set a master password. this master password will be used to access your password manager and grant you access to all your credentials. It is vey important to set a strong unique passphrase as your master password. An example of a strong master password is:

‘IPutMyFeetInHotWater@9PM’

Passwords should not be shared

This is a no-brainer and if you really must disclose your password, make sure that other people aren’t listening to you or looking at your password.

two factor authentication

Why should you use multi-factor authentication?

Traditional user ID and password logins have several weaknesses, one of which is the password vulnerability that may also cost businesses millions of dollars. Malicious actors may employ automated password cracking programs to guess various combinations of users and passwords until they find the correct sequence. 

While locking an account after a specific number of failed login attempts may help protect a company, hackers can get access to the system through a variety of means. This is why multifactor authentication is so important, since it can help to reduce security risks.

The goal of multi-factor authentication (MFA) is to provide a layered defence that makes gaining access to a target, such as a physical place, computer device, network, or database, more difficult for an unauthorized user. 

Even if one element is hacked or broken, the attacker still has one or more hurdles to overcome before gaining access to the target.

Phishing prevention tools for your organization

Preventing phishing attacks is the most effective strategy to avoid a data breach in an organization. One method is to use “ahead-of-threat” attack prevention tools like GoPhish.

GoPhish can simulate phishing attacks to train people in your organization to spot imposter emails. 

Why is it a good idea to use phishing prevention tools?

If an attacker sends your coworker to a fake login page and they fill in their username and password, then they’ve had their password compromised.

Phishing is a top threat for password security and relies on the human defense layer of your organization to respond to the threat in the appropriate way.

You can install firewalls and antispyware software on your machines, but unless you train your people, you won’t have a good guarantee that passwords and data will be kept safe.

Conclusion

Is it okay to leave your weak passwords untouched? No. Attackers are aware of the regulations and have built software to circumvent them. They compile a database of popular passwords and then break them using a variety of methods. 

To remain one step ahead of these online thieves, do a password security check with a high password scoring since your password is the final key to keeping your portal hidden. When someone follows these old school principals and inputs a short code, the password strength tester flags it as a weak password, allowing you to change it to something more secure. 

It’s tempting to think of this authentication as a strong defense against cyberattacks, but it’s actually simply another security tool in your toolbox. Multi-factor authentication should be incorporated in the same manner that firewalls, anti-spam, and anti-virus are used in your company. It’s a basic precaution that should be performed to keep your private information and client data secure from outside attackers in the face of today’s security concerns.

Furthermore, user access to high-value systems and data should be restricted. This method can help secure sensitive and business-critical data from both deliberate and careless breaches. You may also keep an eye on user behavior to spot and mitigate insider threat concerns. 

GoPhish is your go-to resource for phishing protection and other types of penetration testing. If you believe your company is particularly vulnerable to phishing attempts, we recommend doing a phishing pen test.