5 Most Common Password Misconceptions and The Truths Behind Them
Passwords need no introduction.
In a time and age where the average user has several tens of accounts associated with their email addresses, almost everyone who knows what the internet is knows what passwords are too.
The interesting thing, however, is that such widespread knowledge of passwords does not translate to in-depth knowledge of what they are, and how they function. For example, we have collated some of the top misconceptions that users have about passwords – and you’ll be surprised that you had been thinking the same too.
1 Passwords will soon be gone
Look around you today, and you will find many phones with, at least, a fingerprint sensor in them. Some other manufacturers have gone the way of facially unlocking your devices, helping to secure your units even better.
In the same vein, we know that others are experimenting with – and have actually implemented – iris scanning technology on some smartphones.
All of these are great, and they could make you start thinking that they will push passwords out of the door. That could not be more wrong.
In fact, you will notice that setting up these biometrics will require you to create a password first. That shows you how important passwords are to the whole security process, and we know they are here to stay. At least, for longer than most people are thinking.
2 Passwords are getting better
Almost every day, we hear of one account compromise or the other. This is not even helped by the fact that the big corporations are the ones falling to these hacks – with a company like Uber losing 57 million account data to hackers in one fell swoop.
This is one of the Common Password Misconceptions With advancement in technology, one would feel that password best practices are being implemented all around. Following bodies of research which indicate that passwords like ‘12345, password, p@ssw0rd’ and the likes are very much on the rise, though, that is surely one of the biggest fallacies.
The sad thing is that the younger people are the ones with the poorest password habits – and they are the most tech savvy. If such a trend continues, we won’t have any safe accounts anymore soon.
3 You can create the ultimate complex password
Users like to make the mistake of thinking they have created that one password to rule all the others out there. This could not be more wrong – many times than once.
Hackers don’t go about trying to hack your passwords manually. They feed an algorithm what they want it to look for and unleash it on your account.
These hackers know how predictable the human mind can be, but you don’t. Aftercall, you thought your password was just born out of sheer genius and not some predictable model of your mind.
That is why some of the passwords deemed complex might actually be simple. In fact, Edward Snowden agrees that it would take a computer less than a second to crack an 8-character password. That is as scary as it is interesting.
Thus, it is best to employ a password generating software to create a truly secure password that would take even the best hackers several years to get through.
4 Passwords can be un-hackable
Most Common Password Misconceptions is this, because people belief they have the best passwords that can not be hacked. While we are promoting better password habits, we might as well get this out of the way:
No password is inherently safe. In other words, all passwords can be hacked.
No matter if you combine all the characters and words and symbols you can lay your hands on into that password, it can be hacked. If that is true, though, why are we bothering about stronger passwords?
The thing is, while all passwords can be hacked, they cannot all be hacked in the same duration. While some passwords will yield in mere seconds to minutes, some will take several years to crack.
Again, a single password can take a hacker many years – with their best computer running their hacking algorithm full time – to crack. The idea is to generate one of those strong passwords so that no hacker even tries to come close.
5 Length doesn’t matter
Perhaps, this misconception was given stronger grounds by websites and apps that recommend setting a password of at least 8 characters. This has made users only do the barest minimum for passwords, thinking that is the gold standard.
Well, we don’t need to reiterate what Snowden said, you already know where such a password will get you.
For every extra character you add to a password, you make it exponentially harder for a hacker to know what that password is. After all, they have to go through even more possible combinations and arrangements to figure out the extra character.
Thus, we recommend making sure your passwords start from 16 characters or more.
You don’t have to remember them either. That is what password managers are for.