每日英語跟讀 Ep.K337: Not using a password manager? Here’s why you should be…
In a competitive field, passwords are one of the worst things about the Internet. Long and complex passwords are more secure but difficult to remember, leaving many people using weak and easy-to-guess credentials. One study by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) revealed how millions are using their pet’s name, football team names, “password” and “123456” to access online services.
But this leaves you wide open to attack: cybercriminals can crack weak passwords in seconds using automated tools. “A hacker needs roughly two seconds to crack an 11-character password made up of numbers,” says Alex Balan, director of security research at security company Bitdefender. If the password is more complex, containing numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters, the time needed to break it jumps to 400 years.
Experts say a good password should be unique and contain a combination of letters, numbers and special characters. The key to a strong one is length, says independent security researcher Sean Wright. “While password complexity does help, the length matters far more.” Experts recommend a minimum of 11 characters, more if possible.
Password manager apps can resolve this problem by creating long and complex credentials for you, and remembering them the next time you log in. Yet only about one in five people in the UK use one, according to recent estimates.
Many people are put off by the hassle, while others are suspicious about allowing one company to store all of their passwords. How do you know which one is trustworthy, and what if the company is hacked?
If this all seems too technical, or you are managing passwords for an elderly parent or grandparent, there is another option. While they’re sometimes mocked, physical password books aren’t a bad idea, as long as you follow the guidelines in creating strong, unique logins, and the book is kept somewhere secure and doesn’t leave the house.