Passwords are important, no matter what some quarters say. We live in an increasingly digitalized world, where you need passwords for almost everything. You need a password for your social media handles, your email account, online banking services and do many other places. While there has been talking about getting rid of passwords and substituting them with biometrics, experts believe they are here to stay which makes is the more important to dispel misconceptions and learn the proper way to use them for the best protection.
And these, are the four myths we need to get rid of:
Myth 1: Your password must have numbers, mixed cases, and special characters
The truth is that complex passwords have a security limitation. Having a complex password that is easy for a hacker to guess does not do you any favors. The worst idea you can ever have is to create passwords created from dictionary words. Most people love creating passwords such as “vuln3rabl3” which is not a unique password, and a hacker can guess within minutes. Invest in a password generator that generates a random password and makes it hard for a hacker to use brute force.
Myth 2: A good password needs to be very long
A long password is good, but making it 8 to 12 characters is enough, contrary to belief. This myth is true to a certain extent since short passwords take a shorter time to crack. A hacker trying to crack a short password, which has six characters, will do it in a shorter time than a password with eight characters.
Most people do not understand what a strong password is. A good password does not have to be 40 characters long. 17 characters are good, except in cases of sensitive data encryption such as government files or Bitcoin wallets.
Myth 3: You must write down all your passwords
Most people on average have more than 100 accounts and log online at least 27 times in a day. With all these accounts, it is not easy to remember all these passwords. Use a password manager to generate and manage your passwords so you do not have to remember them all. A password manager fills in passwords automatically in sites you visit to keep you safe from phishing.
Myth 3: Constant password change is safe
The biggest myth most people have, especially companies, is that constant password change is secure. Most organizations ask their employees to change their password after a set period. The employees must change the password and make it longer than the previous one. Most people do not make major changes to their passwords when asked to, making their accounts easy targets for hacking. A unique and strong password is more resistant to brute force.
Myth 4: Passwords will become redundant
The belief that passwords will become redundant is not new. However, no one has provided a more secure authentication technique. Biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition is great for recognition, but has security gaps and not secure for authentication. Passwords will not become redundant any time soon.
Biometrics is a great way to log in, requiring only your fingerprint and automatically logged in However, biometrics is a single-factor authentication technique, which is easy to crack. This is because, after some time, your retina scans and fingerprints are stored as a series of ones and zeros, which might end up in the wrong hands.
As long as there is no better or secure authentication technique, passwords will be around for a long time. Dispelling the myths surrounding passwords requires people to be more informed about how passwords and hackers work. Once you know how the system works, it will be easier to create strong passwords.
A password generator works well for generating random passwords that are hard to crack. It also stores passwords so that you do not have to remember them all. While browsing the internet, be wary of hackers and if you change passwords, make major changes, so as not to give hackers any ideas on cracking the new one.