Password Vulnerabilities: How to Create Safer Passwords
One of the most tedious tasks is trying to create a unique login password you can actually remember! Some login portals require users to update their password as frequent as every three months! It is hard enough to remember all the passwords that belong to all the various devices you own. Some people actually write down all passwords, which is not the safest. Food for thought, can frequently changing your password place your data at risk for being compromised? Surprisingly, the answer is yes! This statement may be hard to believe to the majority of readers but trust me, it’s a fact!
Lorrie Cranor, Carnegie Mellon computer science professor, conducted research to see if the quality of passwords created diminished when a person was required to change them frequently. Studies shown that people do not put much thought into creating passwords when required to change them often. Instead, Cranor notes, according to one UNC study, people “tended to create passwords that followed predictable patterns, called ‘transformations,’ such as incrementing a number, changing a letter to similar-looking symbol (for example changing an S to a $), adding or deleting a special character (for example, going from three exclamation points at the end of a password to two), or switching the order of digits or special characters (for example moving the numbers to the beginning instead of the end)” (Barrett, 2016).
Password Rule of Thumb
Remember these three tips next time you are prompted to change your password:
- The best way to keep data safe and secure is changing your password every six months to one year.
- When creating a new password, never slack! Create a strong, unique passwords for every login or device you own.
- Include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols when creating your password.