DENVER (CBS4) – At least six million LinkedIn passwords have been hacked and now eHarmony is also dealing with a security breach after a small number of its 20 million accounts have been compromised.
Both sites are advising users to reset their passwords. 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator found that there is a lot of value in a good password.
There are some real tricks, and for those Brooks went for advice from Jeremy Golden of Graham Golden Technologies.
“A lot of times people just think or take something they like or something they are interested in and it’s going to be a simple word,” Golden said.
Passwords cannot be simple. In fact, Golden says to avoid words from the dictionary.
“Just everyday common words we use in the English language, because the computers can run; they can load up a dictionary and run an attack against a site with all of those words very quickly,” Golden said.
Golden says pick a phrase that can easily be remembered, such as “you are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy.” And then take the first letter of each word and create YAMSMOSYMMH as a password.
“If you add special characters or punctuation it definitely takes it to the next level,” Golden said. “It definitely makes it more complicated. It’s more difficult for a computer to guess that password and try to hack that password.”
He says substitute letters for numbers such as E for 3 and S for 5.
“Every character you add, gets exponentially more difficult to crack,” Golden said.
Golden says ideally use eight or more characters. He also says to have a different password for every online account. The best way to manage that is with a password manager. He recommends RoboForm.
“The encryption on it is secure so that even though the passwords are all in your machine. They are all encrypted.”
Of course the password manager needs a complex password, but that’s the only password that’s needed to be memorized. The software stores the rest.