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Stay Safe Online: Hack-Proof Your Passwords

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Posted at 10:02 AM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 10:02:04-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — According to data compiled by the university of Maryland, there’s a hacking attack on computers with internet access every 39 seconds. These attacks affect one in three Americans each year. One of the biggest ways hackers break into accounts is through unsecure passwords.

It turns out 1-2-3-4-5-6 is the most common online password.

Recent research reveals any password with six characters, regardless of whether numbers and symbols are included, can be cracked instantly! The same goes for seven- or eight-character passwords made up of just lower-case letters. On the flip side, a password using 18 symbols, numbers and characters will take 438 trillion years to crack!

To stay safe experts, say complicated passwords with unique letter-number combinations are best. For example, an 11-character password made up of numbers, upper- and lower-case letters and symbols would take about 34 years to crack. Also – using a multi-factor authentication can protect your accounts. This method requires you to enter a second login code – often from an app on your phone. Also don’t use the same password across multiple web sites. Your Facebook password should not be the same as your online banking one. And – setup a password manager to create and store your passwords.

The most hacked passwords include pet names or terms of endearment like “love,” “baby,” or “angel.” Colors, animals, and swear words are also commonly hacked.