As we mentioned in yesterday’s post, getting into your email account depends on obtaining your password. We talked about ways your password might be stolen (http://www.4kcc.com/blog2/?p=946). Today, we ‘re going to look at ways a hacker (or anyone else for that matter) might figure out your password.
- Someone might actually guess your password. Having your password guessed can happen when you don’t use secure passwords. (See any of these 4KCC blog posts: http://www.4kcc.com/blog2/?p=477; http://www.4kcc.com/blog2/?p=222; http://www.4kcc.com/blog2/?p=910.) For instance, if all your friends know you’re tight with the buck, it might not be good to use “miser1″ as your password. Another way your password might be guessed is if it appears on the list of most hacked passwords. (See this article: http://tinyurl.com/jpkuem5)
- Someone might use software to brute force his or her way into your email account. Yes, such software exists! And, the software is capable of running entire dictionaries plus it can add the most common numbers in front of or behind the words. This is the reason we tell you to never use a complete word in your password. (Brute force definition: A brute force attack is a trial-and-error method used to obtain information such as a user password or personal identification number (PIN). In a brute force attack, automated software is used to generate a large number of consecutive guesses as to the value of the desired data.) *
- The password for some other account of yours might be compromised. Are you one of those people who use the same password for everything because it’s easier to remember? If so, a hacker might break into some other account and then try the same password in your email. It’s never a good idea to use the same password for everything. In fact, if you never repeat a password, that’s even better.