All of us have a ton of passwords for everything you can imagine. Businessweek had a great story on this, because 50% of people have very common passwords in order to keep it simple and to remember it. But simple is trouble. In fact, the most used passwords are: 123456, then the actual word “password”, followed by 12345678.
The cool thing in this story is the length of time it takes a hacker to access your bank account, brokerage account, etc., based on your password. A basic six character password takes a hacker 10 minutes to break. There, I hope that makes you think.
Here are a few others:
Lowercase +uppercase with number & symbol
7 character 4 hours 23 days 4 years
8 character 4 days 3 years 463 years
9 character 4 months 178 years 44,530 years
My best guess is that a hacker isn’t spending four years plus in order to get into my bank account for the $500 bucks in there.
Make your password at least 8 characters with either an uppercase or a number in there somewhere. Once you have that, just add the letter of the account to the front for every different place.
For instance, if you’re with Interior Credit Union, you have your 8 character password and just add the letter I for Interior in front. When you’re on E Bay, add the letter E to the front, or A for Amazon.
Or plan B: Wait until you’re hacked and then deal with the nightmare afterwards and go “I could have and should have”…
There’s something on the horizon that’s one step beyond needing a password, however. Since I want to keep you on the edge of the latest finance technology, this one is cool: A number of banks are now experimenting with voice recognition technology. It started with one of the big brokerage firms. Once they have the biometrics in place and have your voice recognition, they know for certain it’s you that’s placing an investment order.
Well, that also can work with purchases in stores. Once you see the total purchase amount on the cash register, all you need to do is say “purchase $52.45.”
That’s it. The biometrics knows it’s you, and the charge will be on your credit or debit card. Slick? Maybe. Fool-proof? More than likely. But then, it’s all about convenience, and the less time you have to think, reconsider, or wait for an authorization to sign the debit, the better off the merchant is in getting you from looking to purchasing.