Hackers can crack passwords easier than ever

WASHINGTON – More sophisticated hacking tools mean that yesterday’s complex password is today’s cracked password.

Lifehackersays that since hacking hardware and techniques are advancing, passwords that once took years to crack, can now take only months or days. In addition, hackers are smarter and know more about passwords than in the past and have developed algorithms to help them do it.

Here are some tips from Lifehacker on creating stronger passwords:

  • Don’t use predictable formulas. Using common words, capitalizing the first letter and substituting numbers that look like letters in words are all commonplace these days. Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Lifehacker also suggests not using words found in the dictionary — try a random combination of letters.
  • Don’t use phrases or words that go together. If multiple words are used, make sure they have nothing to do with each other. Lifehacker even goes as far as advising “the only secure password is the one you can’t remember.”
  • Use a unique password for each site.

Detailed instructions on creating passwords as well as more information on how hackers crack codes is available from Lifehacker.

WTOP’s Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

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