Why do I have to answer these God Damn Security Questions?

That is an excellent question I will be happy to assist you with your password.

Ahh… passwords- the bane of our existence. We need them yet they seem impossible to remember and they are constantly changing. So why do we need to make resetting your password so difficult? Well the answer is simpler than you think. It’s because there a lot of bad people out there. As someone who is on the receiving end of a lot of complaints about passwords believe me, I know how frustrating it can be to not be able to log into a website. It happens to me all the time. I have a lot of different log-ins for a lot of different things and it can get confusing. I forget my password constantly. I have been through the password reset process countless times and even I get stuck in password reset hell.

Now here are the major complaints I see about passwords. I need one I can remember;I have to many different log-ins; Why can’t I use the same password I used to have; Why does it need to be so long and have symbols and numbers; Why is it so hard to rest?

These are all valid concerns and I know what most of you are thinking, “Why do I care if they get access to (blank)? I just want to sign in”. That is the common attitude towards passwords. My email is boring and no one would want access to that and even if they got in what do I care? Well here is the major issue, most people do not want to have to remember a lot of passwords and they want them to be simple, so what do they do? They use the same password for everything. Your E-mail, your bank, the credit card, etc. So if someone hacks into your E-mail and gets your password they can start trying to log into more important services with the same password and most likely they will get in. The other major concern is that most websites use a secure E-mail address for password reset. So all they need is access to your E-mail to start requesting password resets and now they have access to everything even if you have different passwords for every web site.

So this starts us on the discussion of secure passwords. What makes a password secure? Why do capital letters, symbols, and numbers help? The reason behind that is because there are programs that bombard a web site with countless passwords until it finds one that works. It is so easy to be lazy and make a password easy to remember. Well if a password seems easy to you it is even easier for a hacker. A quick google search will bring up a list of the most common passwords used by people today. The most common being “password” and 123456. If you use either of these passwords for anything stop reading this right now and reset your password.

This is also why you are forced to make a new password when you reset it. If someone has gained access to your account and you reset the password back to the same one you had guess what they still have access to your account. Also just changing one letter or number at the end of the password does not make it secure. Sure it will let you set that as the new password but it will not take the hacker very long to crack the new password. Listen hackers know we are all lazy and want things to be easy, they live on that fact. They work all day and night to get into an account. The easier you make it for them the happier they are.

Here is a link to the 1000 most commonly used passwords in 2016. By the way ,it was the first search result in google when I typed in “common passwords”, so again not a lot of work needed to be done to get this info: 1000 Common Passwords

What is considered a secure but easy to remember password? Do you have a motto or a favorite quote? Use that it’s perfectly fine. Replace any letters you can with numbers and capitalize some part in the middle and you will have an extremely secure password.Here is an example. One the most famous beginnings to any story “Once Upon A time”. We make that 0nc3Up0nat1m3 making the O’s zeros and the I in time a one and the E’s threes and Capitalize the U. This password would take a computer 158 Thousand years to crack. That sounds like a pretty secure password.

So now we move onto why is it so hard to reset the password. Why do I need to remember the name of my first pet? This is because we have a lot of information out in the world now. We use social media and put a lot of personal information on public forums so if someone was trying to gain access to your account they can do some research and find out a lot of information about you. So the questions for password resets are hard on purpose. They are usually dealing with old information that you most likely are not posting on your Facebook page like mother’s maiden name and so on. Now it is important to pick questions that are not easily researched. I have always hated the High School mascot question because that is something easy to find out if you know what High School someone went to.

So what is the way to easily remember the answers you entered. Well what I do is pick a random word and use that for all my security questions. It makes it really difficult to answer security questions when the answer doesn’t match the question. It also makes it easier for you to remember, so instead of needing to remember every answer to every question just remember the one random answer for all the questions.

Lastly, this should be a no brainer but it needs to be said. DO NOT give out your password to anyone. No one legitimate will ever ask you for your password. If someone calls or E-mails you and says they work for your bank or credit card and ask you for your password it is a scam hang up the phone delete that E-mail. Do not keep your password written down some where visible like putting a sticky note on the computer screen then letting  the delivery guy into the house. Also try to have at least a few different passwords for all the log-ins. Maybe one for your bank and credit cards, a different one for Facebook and other social media sites, and one for your E-mails. This makes it more secure without having to have a different password for ever log-in, but it does help if not every log-in is one password. When it comes to technology a single point of failure is the worst thing you can have. We want back ups and alternatives to everything.

I know things like this are annoying but you have to remember that hackers work all day and night to try and get into accounts.  Therefore, you have to do just a little work to make sure they can’t.

If you have a technology question would like answered please E-mail speakslowerblog@gmail.com and I will be happy to look into for you.

 

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