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A password cracker is a tool that allows a user to quickly cycle through a large list of potential passwords, and run them against just one single again (or multiple). This means that your “simple” password could easily be cracked in a matter of minutes (or hours). It's beyond crucial that you put forth emphasis into protecting EVERY password to every single account that you register online. Not just your accounts, but the credentials to them because there's a number of ways you could be at risk.
This guide sets out to help you better understand the risks out there, and allow you to identify ways that you can improve your password and account security as well. Methods Of Hacking (How You Can Get Hacked)
Dictionary attacks: Avoid consecutive keyboard combinations— such as qwerty or asdfg. Don’t use dictionary words, slang terms, common misspellings, or words spelled backward. These cracks rely on software that automatically plugs common words into password fields. Password cracking becomes almost effortless with a tool like John the Ripper or similar programs.
Cracking security questions: Many people use first names as passwords, usually the names of spouses, kids, other relatives, or pets, all of which can be deduced with a little research. When you click the “forgot password” link within a webmail service or other site, you’re asked to answer a question or series of questions. The answers can often be found on your social media profile. This is how Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account was hacked. Simple passwords: Don’t use personal information such as your name, age, birth date, child’s name, pet’s name, or favorite color/song, etc. When 32 million passwords were exposed in a breach last year, almost 1% of victims were using “123456.” The next most popular password was “12345.” Other common choices are “111111,” “princess,” “qwerty,” and “abc123.”
Reuse of passwords across multiple sites: Reusing passwords for email, banking, and social media accounts can lead to identity theft. Two recent breaches revealed a password reuse rate of 31% among victims.
Social engineering: Social engineering is an elaborate type of lying. An alternative to traditional hacking, it is the act of manipulating others into performing certain actions or divulging confidential information.