Everyone needs a strong password, and there is no bypassing it. If the goal is to avoid all of what could go wrong, then creating the most secure and obscure password for all of your online accounts is the only right way to go.
Aside from two-factor authentication, users should opt to have passwords that are at the very least 8 characters long. But if you are in a bind and have no time to secure their online accounts, don’t fret.
In particular, we understand that students have an overwhelming amount of responsibilities that can steal all their time. That’s why we suggest you take advantage of online academic resources and services. For instance, if you have trouble with academic papers, you can try custom essay writing services and get a seasoned professional to tackle the job for you. Meanwhile, you can focus on other high-priority tasks.
Moving along, here are some quick pointers about secure password creation, what can happen if you don’t have a strong one, and some strategies hackers use to get credentials.
Secure Password Creation
The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Typically, most sites will ask Internet users to make a password with a minimum of 8 characters. Ideally, a good password should meet the following requirements:
- consist of more than 8 characters;
- have an uppercase letter and a lowercase letter;
- include some numbers in it;
- have some special characters such as; @ or &;
- should not contain obvious information related to the user.
Bonus tip: If you worry about forgetting your passwords, it’s safest to store them in an old-fashioned way, in a notebook or a notepad. There will be no way for hackers to access this information because it will all be offline. For even further safety, keep the notebook locked away in a secure place.
What Hackers Can Do With Stolen Passwords and Information
Hackers can gain unauthorized access to WiFi networks, even through private ones. So, what exactly can a hacker do by breaking into your WiFi? Here are some scenarios to consider:
- hackers can install malware on a network;
- they can scan and collect confidential data, such as a personal address, places you’ve checked in to, etc.;
- they can hijack a user’s web session;
- they can eavesdrop.
Credential Stuffing Attacks
In recent years, there have been cases of hackers gaining access to millions of users’ passwords, and this type of cyberattack is called credential stuffing. In this process, the hacker loads up a chosen database with hundreds of millions of login credentials. These login credentials are fed into a hacking tool.
The more data a hacker has in their password database, the higher the probability of finding a password that matches an account they want to unlock. These attacks are launched in various types of institutions and organizations; banks, hotels, and even airlines have had records of credential stuffing attacks.
The problem of identity theft reached a dangerous peak in 2016 and still continues to happen today. Hackers and cybercriminals can use stolen identities that can be life-damaging to their victims. To give our readers a grasp of how dangerous identity theft can be, here are a few pointers on what hackers do with stolen identities.
- Cybercriminals can use your identity to apply for loans under your name.
- Your data could be sold to companies that want to buy it. Some of them are spam campaigns.
- Cybercriminals can use your identity to buy prescription drugs.
- They can use your identity to buy frivolously and empty your financial resources.
- They can use your personal photos and videos and publish them online.
- They can pretend to be their victim and run social media accounts with that person’s identity.
- They can contact the victim’s loved ones and friends.
- They can threaten their victim and blackmail them. Consequently, they might request a huge ransom from their victim so that they don’t let any personal information leak.
- They can sell credentials to criminals on the darknet.
And the list goes on. We hope our readers get the gist of how troublesome identity theft can get and how you should have good computer cyber-protection security.
Email Address Theft
Email address theft is another type of cybercrime that happens online. Hackers who steal email addresses typically send scam emails to your contacts, perhaps, requesting money or sending malware. The recipient isn’t the only victim in this case: everybody they have on their email contact list might suffer from such a cybercrime.
Social Media Scams
When hackers get a hold of their victim’s social media, they can fabricate lies to the people in their social media circle to
- make people give up their credentials;
- get them to click on fraudulent links;
- trick the victims into giving them digital assets, currency, or cash through bank transfer.
There is a multitude of reasons as to why they would launch social media attacks since they have many incentives to do so.
Some victims are threatened in a more direct and dangerous way by password thieves. They are forced to give out their credentials because criminals threaten the safety of their lives. This is a violent approach that some criminals use. For the most part, civilians might not be their key targets for such crimes.
Phishing is when hackers attempt to steal victims’ credentials by posing to be a legitimate and credible site. They typically clone real websites. Usually, they send out links by email or use fraud login forms.
Tech-savvy authorities have tried to counter these types of scams by instilling two-factor authentication, but some criminals have actually found a way to bypass these too. Thus, you should be careful even when using trustworthy and familiar websites.
We hope we’ve convinced our readers that the consequences of not securing their online accounts with strong passwords are dire. We encourage everyone to be vigilant online, as hackers are progressively becoming smarter with their tricks.