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Don’t Get Hacked: Why Good Passwords Matter

Hackers are Lurking • Hackers can gain access to your computer in a number of harmful ways – There are hackers who tap into email systems with low security – Ie: Yahoo, ComCast, and AOL email systems are most prone to hacks

– Hackers have found means to manipulate areas with free WiFi to gain access to your personal information – There are hacker who take advantage of your unattended computer system. • By simply leaving your computer unattended to take a bathroom break at a coffee shop provides the perfect opportunity for a hacker to quickly download a harmful software onto your computer

– And many more! Hackers are always seeking the most creative, unexpected way to steal your personal data

Hacking Happens • Recently, there’s been an upswing of breaches in online security systems. Lots of secure companies can suddenly become victims of a hacking attack – Source:

• While companies are working to compensate for the rare instances that their security systems are hacked, sometimes a sincle

Methods of Hacking • There are many means by which software works to hack into your system. It’s important to be aware of these means as you log your personal information into an internet database. • Source:

Brute Force • The most time-consuming method. • A program tries every combination of letters, numbers, and keyboard characters to guess your password. – It starts with trying every character, then tries two-character combinations, and so on.

Custom Dictionaries • Custom dictionary software is also worth considering when creating a password • These dictionaries are filled with words and names, but also number and letter combinations, such as 11111 and abc123. • Simple passwords such as "duke" or "ilovemydog" can easily be guessed.

Social Engineering • This involves someone with criminal intent soliciting a password directly from a user. • Many people divulge their passwords to coworkers and strangers without even realizing it; thus, exposing their personal information and leaving their accounts vulnerable to attack

Keeping Your Password Safe

Unique Passwords are KEY • You must have a unique password for every service you use. – If you reuse the same password, and a hacker cracks one account, he or she will be able to access the rest of your accounts.

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Eight Characters or More! • Short passwords enhance your risk of getting hacked. The longer the better. • The longer the password, the less likely it is that a custom dictionary will hack into your account! • Source:

Change Your Password Often! • At the very least, you should change your password every three months! • This is an annoying task, but it’s a sure way to protect your personal information from getting hacked! • Source:

Wacky Passwords Work Best • We’re basically suggesting that you mix different character types. – Use some uppercase letters along with lowercase letters, numbers and even special characters such as '&' or '%‘ – Ie: instead of using “hamandcheese” as your password, use “H4m&Ch33s3” – Source:

Password protection