People have been warned that their passwords for online accounts may not be as secure as they should be, and cyber criminals may be able to hack them ‘in seconds’.
New research has revealed that certain codes can be cracked in very short spaces of time, allowing scammers to access your personal information with ease.
The reports, from the team at payment company Dojo, may be concerning at first glance – but there are some simple changes you can make to your passwords which will make them harder to crack, the Mirror reports.
According to the company, the most hackable passwords are ones that contain all lowercase letters or numbers and are less than 8 characters long.
For example, the passwords purple, letmein or 202201 can all be guessed in under a second.
Compare that to the word wednesday1 which takes over 2,000 seconds to crack, and you can see how small changes can make a big difference.
Another password error people make is using the same one for work and personal accounts, making it more likely for them to be attacked.
“With 51% of people using the same passwords for both work and personal accounts, it’s common for people to repeat password patterns that are easy to remember. But the study found that 365,174 passwords feature all lowercase letters and an average password length of eight characters,” Dojo explained.
“When using this password pattern hackers can access your data easily, as the number of combinations they need to try is lower. If you are using all lowercase letters for your passwords, it would take hackers just three seconds to guess.”
It’s also best to avoid using things like TV shows, nicknames, colours or fashion brands as Dojo says these are some of the “most hackable” in the world.
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The payment company said that its study found over 1.5 million passwords were eight characters or less, with terms of endearment being the most common password category.
For the best chances of keeping your account protected, it’s advised to use passwords that are 8-12 characters long, using a good mix of capital letters, numbers and special characters.
For example, Mirr0r!_5912 is clearly far harder to crack than just using the word mirror.
It’s also a good idea to set up MFA (multi-factor authentication), these are available on most apps and accounts that require a password.
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