This post was originally published on the IT Boss blog. It has been transferred to the Codeboss blog in order to maintain its content on this site.
There is a scene in the movie Spaceballs where the bad guys finally manage to extract the password to the planetary shield from the king. The password was 12345.
It also happens to be the one of the three most popular passwords used by Adobe users, revealed after a recent hack. This is the top three:
Can you hear me groan?
Here’s a tip. If you are using any of these passwords, or similar, then you are completely insecure. Even the most junior or incompetent hacker will get through this kind of password in seconds, and you have lost your account or data.
Did you know if you use a password with 6 characters, all the same case and with no numbers or punctuation symbols, it takes just over 2 hundredths of a second to crack? Increase to 10 characters and it takes 10.45 hours.
If you add punctuation characters to that 10 character password, it now takes over 54 years to crack.
The key here is to use longer passwords, and use numbers and characters like $&*%!@()
Of course that makes it really hard to remember, and the best practice is not to write down your passwords, since if someone breaks in to your premises often all they have to do is look in your drawers (keep them locked) or the post-it on your monitor. So, here’s a trick. Use a phrase instead.
Remember, the longer the password is, even if it is just all letters, the harder it is to crack. Use a catch phrase you like. Example, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” (BTW, don’t use that particular phrase.) This will make you much more secure. Include one or two punctuation symbols and it will take years to break.
And remember, if you’re using 12345, even if it is on your luggage, please change it now.