/ Geeky techie

Hack me not

A teacher needs to show a presentation to the class but cannot remember the password to her laptop. One child valiantly offers to help, types in the word 'password,' and immediately gains access to the laptop much to the amusement of the class.

That was an example of a scenario to exhibit how easy it has become to guess passwords. People these days are in such a hurry to create a new account and gain initial security to their digital systems that they prefer to pay little heed to the actual selection of passwords.

According to a survey by Imperva, a company which makes software to prevent hacking, one-third of passwords are of six or even less characters, depending on the minimum requirement of each website. Not much thought is given to choosing the code, and usually consist of limited alphanumeric - including names, places, letters which are consecutive on the keyboard, or consecutive numbers.

Even these surveys are not usually enough to urge people to change their password. Simplicity, in the case of passwords, are taken as an open invitation by hackers. People constantly complain about losing access to their accounts and having 'hacker trouble.' Well this wouldn't have perhaps been the case if the password hadn't been so predictable.

2,90,731 use '123456' as their password. Still sitting and smiling because it's one number short from your password? Very well then - just know that '12345' is the password of 79078 people, while '123456789' is in third position, protecting 76790 people.

Not a person of numbered passwords? Your accounts may still be in danger if your passwords are anything from 'password' (61958 users) and 'iloveyou' (51622 users) to 'princess' which is used by 35231 princesses and 'rockyou' used by the 22588 self-proclaimed rock stars who rock hackers' world.

Numbered-password owners do not be relieved because the list is not over just yet. '1234567' and '12345678' are the eighth are ninth most popular, being used by 21726 and 20553 people respectively. Number 10 on the Imperva list is 'abc123' used by 17542 people unleashing the kindergarteners within.

In our sub-continent it is uncommon to have names like 'richard' and 'courtney' which are other very commonly used passwords abroad. Still, what's the point of keeping a password when it is just going to be commonplace and cause the account to fall victim of just another hacker?

People can at least keep unique passwords to feel good about themselves. "I have an uncommon password, I am unique," should be the goal until you are convinced. Try different combinations, get creative, use capital letters - anything but 123456 because that will directly translate to, "Hack me."

Hackers have many of their ways to gain access to accounts but an easy step is definitely to guess passwords. Social hacking is being most popular of all the other ways to hack somebody. This is by knowing the person and then making a guess or simply retriving the password by making a virtual trap to invite him/her to type her password and saving that password. This password is not only your email or facebook password but also the password of bank transaction and etc. If you’re targeted, there’s hardly a way you can escape from hackers.

I have wasted my times on knowing these and the tricks, sometimes hacking my own account just as experimentation of codes. But the time I spent was worth it because now I know how to save myself or at least fight for my protection. I have talked to my experienced friends about them too. What I can conclude here is that, no matter how hard your password is, it’s breakable if you have chosen any of the existing keys from your key board, a good coder or a code breaker could hack you if determined. But it's your job to ensure your own security, rather than giving away a piece of cake, a strong password could fight for you or will at least delay the entire process until the hacker get cursed by impatience. Say no to easy passwords, say no to the evilish hackers. Why make it so easy for them?

Shopnil Mahmud

Shopnil Mahmud

A software engineer with avid interest on any form of arts and philosophy. Likes to write codes for a living and poetry for the soul. Currently residing in Toronto, originally from Bangladesh.

Read More