With the rise of brute force attacks, your choice of password has never been more important. Choose a good one, and even the brightest hackers with the best cyphers won’t be able to crack your account. But choose poorly, and you might as well advertise your personal information directly to fraudsters.
So, what’s a good password and why does a financial platform like MoneyKey recommend you make one with every online loan, bank account, and investment you take out? A recent study by cybersecurity company Hive Systems reveals the anatomy of a good password. Let’s take a look.
Why Are Strong Passwords Important?
Your password is the key to your online accounts. Whether you’re talking about an online loan, line of credit, or investment, these accounts contain confidential information that, in the wrong hands, could be used against you. A fraudster who hacks your account not only has access to this account, but they also have personal details they can use to open payday loans and cash advances in your name.
A strong password locks out fraudsters, even when they come calling. The strongest passwords will make your account so hard to crack that they will give up for easier targets.
The Features of a Strong Password, According to This Study
Hive System’s study examines the relative strength of a password against hacking. In particular, it determines how long someone with the latest graphics cards and hacking experience would be able to crack your password.
Their findings compare a passwords “hackability” to two major components: length and complexity. It might not shock you to find out that the longer and more complex your online loan password is, the more likely it will stand up to hackers.
So, let’s get to the question of the hour: what password would take one billion years for the average hacker to unlock? It doesn’t require any sophisticated program or specialized knowhow; a strong password comes down to these four characters:
- Uppercase Letters
- Lowercase Letters
Having one of each of the items above isn’t enough. To reach the one-billion time limit, your password must also be 15 characters long.
Ideally, you choose an entirely random set of characters that hold no connection to your personal life. That means no important dates, names, or locations — this information is widely available online, especially if you are on social media, so it can be guessed quite easily.
You’re more of a target if you enjoy sharing quizzes and chain status updates. These games often trick you into answering common security questions used in multi-factor authentication, like “what’s your mother’s maiden name?” and “who was your first boss?”.
A strong password is simple. It needs to be 15 characters long containing at least one number, symbol, and upper- and lowercase letters.
With this random combination securing your online loan or bank account, it would take far too long for the average fraudster to brute force their way into your finances.
Of course, brute force is only one form of fraud. Huge data breaches targeting financial institutions have nothing to do with your choice of password. It’s important you choose trustworthy banks and online lenders that invest in SIEM systems and 24/7 threat monitoring.
To shield your finances from these data breaches, use a different 15-character password for each account. Unique passwords will limit your exposure and keep other accounts safe.