Using secure passwords and practicing safe email work habits are pretty much the top two things you can do to keep your information safe on the web. This article will deal with secure passwords; I’ll write a separate blog that’s all about safe email work habits.
One of my jobs at Formations is to keep our clients’ database-driven websites from being hacked and used for something the client certainly would not want their site used for. One of the benefits of being in this position is the ability to see what passwords and user names the would-be thieves/hackers use to try to break into a website. It’s really pretty basic. They run an automated dictionary system to enter user names and passwords at a very fast rate to try to hack your system. Here are some of the common words and number combinations they use to try to gain access to the website administrative side of a website: For the username they often try using “admin” — the default username on many web applications. Then for the password they start with common names like Kathy, Bob, Dustin, or they try number sequences like 123456 and so forth. They progressively combine the strings together until they hopefully hit upon the right one.
So how do you outsmart the hackers? For starters, always choose a username that is not a common word in a dictionary. For your password, create one that is at least eight characters long— 10 is even better. Make sure the password contains at minimum one upper and one lower case letter, one number and one symbol. Here is a good example: RtkNK44(pB.