Chances are someone has naked photos of you or your family. A recent survey shows that 9 out of 10 Millennials have documented their own whoopie cakes, humpty dumplings or baloney ponies. But what precautions have they taken to keep their money makers private?
A unique method for choosing passwords is critical given that a typical lowercase six-character password can be guessed in less than 10 minutes. Choose multiple stategies when picking a better password and you’ll be protected.
We shred documents in office compactors and tell our children to avoid contact with strangers who ask questions – so advocating for good password policies in your office or home should be a no-brainer.
Keeping your junk in the trunk may depend on it.
Last year’s iCloud celebrity photo hack should be a wake up call for everyone. Nude and compromising photos of nearly 100 celebrities were published, without permission, on the imageboard called 4chan.
The hackers simultaneously pulled the pants off victims and the world’s largest Big Tech Company by using a service called “iBrute” to gain access to those celebrities’ passwords – and ultimately stealing the photos stored on their phones and in the cloud. When TIME magazine accused Apple of negligence in allowing the vulnerability in Apple iCloud’s “Find My iPhone” service, which helps users locate a lost or stolen phone, Apple responded with this strongly worded statement rebuffing the accusation:
None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems …. To protect against this type of attack, we advise all users to always use a strong password and enable two-step verification. Both of these are addressed on our website at http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4232.
Business Insider butressed the liability argument from Apple’s accusers, reminding readers that the ability to gain access to Apple’s iCloud accounts would likely require the ability to identify the user or email address of each victim. Given the ease with which hackers find email addresses and usernames, however, Apple can’t be held fully responsible for users’ bad password choices.
What if those victims had been provided with guidance on setting up good passwords?
These five easy methods to choose passwords and keep your junk in the trunk could save your own tuckus from broad publication.
Again, use a combination of strategies, not just one! Choosing a password that’s both easy to remember and practically guess-proof is something to tell family and friends about, too. After all, the integrity of your jaybird may be at stake.
1. Parenthesis always
A lot of us forget that parenthesis can be used in passwords. That means that you should be utilizing the symbol – or any of the special characters – around EVERY password you ever choose, going forward from today.
- Password Parenthesis Example: mypassword becomes (MyP4$$^^0rd)
2. Leetspeak is not so good
Leetspeak, an alternative alphabet that uses various combinations of ASCII characters to replace Latinate letters, can help. But foiling password guessing programs can be problematic if that’s your only strategy. For instance, Leetspeak will not keep your password safe if you’re using it in an obvious manner. (Pa$$word is one of the first combinations these password applications will attempt, for example.)
- Password Leadspeak Example: IfYouCanReadThisYouAreOffToAGoodStart becomes 1fuc4nre4dth15ur0ff2ag00d$t4rt
3. Password Ebonics
Because password cracking applications rely on languages the criminal hackers have imported from open-source dictionaries, it’s best to utilize languages that are unformalized or entirely made up. Here are a few examples:
- Password Ebonics Example: PeepsOffDaHizzleSup
- Password Redneck Example: FoScoAnSevenYearsGo
- Password Jive Example: IGotsSomeFeelinWesNotInNoKansasNoMo
4. Bigger is better
Experts suggest repetition of unique letters is good security when choosing a password. For instance, many, many letters arbitrarily inserted in your password phrase can pretty much prevent any password cracking application from guessing it. Of course, the downside is remembering the number of letters used.
- Password Repetition Example: HoustonWeHaveAProbleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeem!
5. Special character substitutions
Special characters should go beyond standard punctuation to include all the SHIFT-NUMBER letters, albeit not necessarily at once. A novel way to do this is by including your anniversary date or another arbitrary date (preferably not your birthday or something that could be guessed by a hacker).
- Password Password Example: September202008 becomes September@)@))*
Better passwords to keep your junk in the trunk also keeps your money safe!
Most hackers are interested in stealing unique identifiers for the purpose of theft, of course.
By utilizing a password strategy that is personal and unique, you’ll be more likely to remember the password and mitigate the possibility of brute force or other malicious attacks.
Creating good passwords to keep your junk in the trunk is the responsibility of everyone you’re close to. If those around you are not using good security strategy, neither are you!