Trying to memorize a unique and secure password for every online account can be challenging. You may feel tempted to give in and use a simple or the same password for all of your online accounts. We get it! Many of us are guilty of wanting to do this. However, strong passwords are a key component in protecting your website against unforeseen hacking attempts.
Unfortunately, hackers use different methods to attack websites every day. The most common method is exploiting outdated frameworks or plugins that create vulnerabilities for hackers to get in. The second most common way is from weak or poor passwords. Once these passwords are hacked, they can be used to force your website to show products or services that are not your own or even remove content to take down your entire website. This can cost you time, money, and website visitors. It can also damage your search engine optimization efforts by causing your website to earn a reputation for being untrustworthy and dangerous.
CREATING STRONG WEBSITE PASSWORDS
Universally, online account passwords need to be strong to make it difficult for hackers to get access to your information. Let’s break down the basics for creating strong passwords.
- Create a password that is different from all of your other online accounts – Any password that is tied to your email address can show up on a hack list if one of your accounts gets hacked or leaked through a breach on other websites. This happens more than people may realize. Computers then use the list information to enter your email and password combination on different websites.
- Create a password with at least 12 characters – The more characters, the better. Every character after eleven makes a huge difference on the time it takes a password to get hacked.
- Do not use words as the only characters – It can be tempting to use passwords like ‘password’ or your favorite pet’s name, but using only these words will significantly put your website at risk. These are the easiest passwords for hacking robots to guess.
- Use at least one capital letter – Capitalizing at least one letter within the password creates a huge hurdle for hacking attempts. It doesn’t have to be the first letter, but include at least one somewhere within the password.
- Use at least one number – Adding a number to the end or anywhere in your password also creates a large hurdle for the hackers.
- Use at least one symbol – Using just one symbol can make hacking your password nearly impossible.
- Try breaking down a sentence as a password – If random characters, symbols, and numbers are hard to memorize, try picking a sentence that would be easy to remember and turning it into a password. For example, turn the first letter from every word into a character, or change a word to a number. Then “I love to read blogs that Vervocity posts to their site weekly!” becomes Il2rbtVp2tsw!
Keeping these basics in mind, here is why these steps are so important (according to security.org)!
- A password of 8 lowercase letters can be hacked by a computer nearly instantly.
- By adding at least one uppercase letter to an 8 character password can extend to a whopping 22 minutes before it is hacked.
- A password of 10 characters with at least one uppercase letter and one number can take 3 days to be hacked by a computer. Better, but keep in mind brute force attacks happen every day for hours at a time on unprotected websites.
- A 12-character password containing at least one uppercase letter, one number and one symbol would take 34,000 years for a computer to hack.
What a difference! A couple more characters and a symbol could make it nearly impossible for a computer to hack your password. Just make sure you aren’t using the same new, unique password multiple websites!