Keep your personal data safe with a top secret password

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Passwords can be tricky. They can also be easily taken advantage of by hackers.

When you take a second to think of a password to any account, it shouldn’t be something personal or something recycled.

“Multiple characters, special characters, you have to use upper case, lower case, numbers and that’s a start,” Diana Bartlett said, the assistant professor for cyber security at Hagerstown Community College.  

There are ways to see how safe your password is. Certain websites can help decipher how long it would take a hacker to figure out your password. It can take a hacker milliseconds to figure out your password.

“If I’m putting in this password, how long would it take for a computer to crack it, and often times people that are doing this aren’t just running one computer to try and crack these passwords,” Bartlett said.  

A tip for people searching for a password they can easily remember,  is a “pass phrase” “I could pick something like, “pizza is my favorite food”, and I could turn that into a pass phrase, and so I can pick the letters off of that,” Bartlett said.

Depending on how long and complex your password is, there are opinions on how often you should change them. Bartlett says she personally chnages her passwords twice a year. 

Click here to see how long it would take a hacker to crack your password. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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