Password security more vulnerable than expected


Living in a technological age, passwords are an important aspect of security, protecting the contents of phones, computers, e-mails, social media accounts and many more.

But hackers are on the rise and so are their methods; passwords consisting of a word and a birthday may not be enough to provide the security needed anymore.

“So, essentially, when you go to a website and it asks you to create a password for your account, many people use a word or a phase and they’ll mix numbers or symbols to replace letters,” Webteam editor senior Conrad Hoffman said.

Since people have been using similar types of passwords for many years, Hoffman said hackers now have hard drives that contain combinations of possible passwords.

“The hard drive will just search through all the possible password combinations in its system,” Hoffman said. “That is a lot easier to do rather than trying to crack a password yourself.”

Having the same password for everything may be beneficial to those who have trouble with remembering them, but that might not be wise when it comes to security.

“It’s important to use different passwords for different accounts, especially your e-mail,” Hoffman said. “Your e-mail password is the most important password and needs to be the one password that is different.”

A person’s e-mail account is connected to all their other accounts.

“Say if I wanted to change the password to my bank account,” Hoffman said. “The information would be or could be sent to my e-mail.”

Hoffman has a method to create easy to remember passwords that are impossible to crack.

“Instead of using eight character passwords with just symbols and numbers mixed in, you use a 24 character password,” Hoffman said. “One method is to use a password that consists of four words like a phrase or a sentence.”

To change it up for different accounts, people can change one word in the password, and it would still be impossible to crack.

“You can even use a grammatically correct sentence with a capital letter at the beginning and commas and periods,” Hoffman said. “A password like that, using the current password cracking system, will never, ever be cracked.”