The Importance of a Strong Password

The Importance of a Strong Password

The importance of a strong password is growing by the day.  As technology continues to change, it is becoming more and more frustrating for businesses and individuals to keep their personal information and their client information secure. Everything we do online such as internet banking, drivers license details (Service NSW app), emails, social media, business websites, payment platforms such as Paypal and much more require a password.

Are you using a password like qwerty, abcd, 12345 or password? These passwords take less than a second or two to crack and can leave you very vulnerable online. Read on to find out why using a password like that is dangerous and how to choose the right passwords and store them correctly in order to protect yourself online.

Many people make the simple mistake of using the same password for every online account. This goes without saying that the risk of this is huge. If one account gets compromised it leaves all your accounts using that password vulnerable to the same attacks.

The result of your passwords being compromised can include the loss of profitable information such as data, cash or even your identity.

Passwords provide the first line of defence against unauthorised access to your personal accounts and information. The stronger the password is, the less chance you have of it being compromised.

How Much time does it take to crack a password?

It seems crazy to think that people still use the password 123456 or even abcd, but they do. These passwords are so simple for cybercriminals to hack as illustrated in the image below. (Source: Patchstack).

As the illustration states, the password 123456 takes less than a second to crack, yet over 2.5 million people still use this password. Research we did recently suggest that millennials are generally more aware of potential data security risks than any other generation, but are less likely to be concerned about them. This is probably due to the fact that they have grown up with technology and see data breaches as unfortunate but normal. We really need to get across the fact that data breaches and fraud are becoming worse as technology takes over our lives and the one thing that we can do to help protect ourselves and our information is to at least have a strong and secure password.

The Importance of a Strong Password – Don’t Leave yourself Vulnerable Online

Strong passwords are one thing you can do to ensure that your accounts are as secure as possible online. They can help to prevent unauthorised access to your online accounts and devices.

Our Top Tips for Creating a Strong Password

  1. INCLUDE A MIX OF  NUMBERS, SYMBOLS, UPPER & LOWERCASE LETTERS – randomly mixing up a combination of these will help your password to be harder to crack. Examples could be using an 0 for o, $ for an s or an @ symbol for a.
  2. MAKE SURE YOUR PASSWORD IS LONG – having a longer password makes it harder for hackers to crack. The more advanced method of hacking your passwords is called a brute force attack. This is where the hacker will use a computer program to run through every possible combination of letters, numbers, and symbols as fast as possible in order to crack your password. The longer and more complex the password is, the longer it takes to crack.
  3. DO NOT REUSE PASSWORDS – reusing passwords puts all your accounts at greater risk if one account gets hacked. Large scale attacks can often result in a list of compromised email addresses and passwords, if you use the same details for all accounts it leaves you very vulnerable. USE UNIQUE PASSWORDS FOR ALL ACCOUNTS.
  4. PASSWORD MANAGERS -Password managers are an excellent service that auto-generate and store strong passwords for all accounts. These passwords are kept in an encrypted location in which you access with a master password.
  5. AVOID USING PERSONAL INFORMATION– many people use personal information such as pets names, family names, date of birth, favourite sporting teams etc. Using information like this can make it easier to guess the password.
  6. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS REGULARLY– changing your passwords on a regular basis

Following these tips will certainly help you to secure your website login as well as other online accounts you may have.

The Importance of a Strong Password – Why is it Important to have a secure password?

Strong passwords are essential to prevent unauthorised access to your electronic accounts and devices, including your business website.

Having a password that is complicated and long will make it much harder for a hacker to crack it, whether it be by a brute force attack or an automated machine attack. Basically, the more complex your password is, the more security it will provide for your website and other accounts.

What is a Brute Force Attack?

A Brute force attack is an attack that tries every combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Brute force attacks use “brute force” to attempt to force their way into your private accounts.  It is an old attack method, but is still effective and popular with hackers, as it can take just seconds to crack a password as the table above states.

The Damage Hackers do if they Hack Your Website

Having your website hacked can cause so much damage not only to your site but to your business and your business reputation, depending on the nature of the attack. The consequences for your business can be reputation, loss of sales, downtime, interrupting PPC campaigns and more. See our list below for more information.

Website Data Loss

Hackers can purely hack your site for malicious reasons. They can delete website data and any data associated with your website. This can include online orders, emails and invoices. A burst force attack will give the hacker direct access to your server or the admin sections of your site. They can also delete data by performing an SQL injection attack on your databases.

Damage your Trust and Reputation

Having a hacked website can cause huge damage to your business. If your website has any downtime your customers can lose faith in your business. If they manage to put malware such as pornographic material on your site it can damage your reputation and your brand in a very negative way. Gaining the trust of your clients back can be a hard task. These types of attacks can cause lasting brand damage.

The website can be redirected to another site

Hackers can redirect your site to another site which will not only damage your reputation but can affect your marketing campaigns such as PPC advertising on Google Ads. We have had clients that have come to us with this problem and it has cost them thousands of dollars. These issues are serious and all steps to prevent such attacks need to be considered.

Repairing a Damaged Website due to Attacks

It can be a very expensive task to repair a website once it has been compromised by malware or other types of cyberattacks.
When you use the services of a business such as Central Coast Websites, we take responsibility for the security of your site. We have multiple layers of security in place to protect hacks from happening, however, if you have a login you need to ensure that your password is secure and that it won’t leave your website vulnerable to any attacks.

The Importance of a Strong Password – Central Coast Website

Central Coast Websites take security extremely seriously and as mentioned in our last post, the importance of website security, we take all measures to protect your site and maintain updates to plugins and the WordPress platform itself. If you have a login it is essential that you create a strong password that cannot be cracked easily. If you don’t you can put your own site at risk.

If you have any questions regarding security and how to create the strongest password you can, please have a chat with us and we will give you the best advice to protect yourself and your site.