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Passwords Are the Weakest Link In Online Security
Category : General 22 Dec 2010 06:13 AM | Industry News
Twenty-nine percent of respondents, meanwhile, had their own email or social network account hacked, and over half (52%) know someone who has had a similar problem.
According to Check Point, the first thing a hacker will do to break into a computer or secure account is try and guess the victim's password.
Automated programs, says the IT security vendor, are now available for hackers to repeatedly guess passwords from a database of common words or other information.
The ZoneAlarm study also revealed that about 22% of respondents had experienced email hacking and about 46% know of others who experienced similar email problems. Additionally, about 22% of respondents had experienced social network account hacking and 32% know others who have also had similar problems. Once a hacker gains access to one account, almost 30% of the time that information can be used to access other sites that contain financial data such as bank account numbers and credit card information.
Users should choose a password that is at least 8 to 10 characters long. This should be long enough to prevent brute force attacks. Since brute force attacks consist of trying every possible code, combination, or a password until the right one is found.
Internet surfers should also ensure that their password is difficult to guess. Do not, says the company, use names of any kind, including your login name, family member's name or a pet's name. Users should also avoid using personal information such as a phone number, birthday or place of birth.