The term phishing was created because of the way that criminals try to get access to personal information. They cast out a bunch of bait in the form of fraudulent e-mails and wait to see who bites.
Spear phishing is a variation on phishing in which hackers send emails
to groups of people with specific common characteristics or other identifiers.
Spear phishing emails appear to come from a trusted source but are designed
to help hackers obtain trade secrets or other classified information.
Question: Which is a stronger password, “H7%doss!” or “MyLazyDogRex”?
Apparently, a software cracker program can crack the eight character nonsense password above in less than 4 hours. The second 12 character plain English passphrase would take 317 years to crack. A single high-end desktop computer running a cracker program can process 17 billion password combinations in one hour.
Security professionals are now recommending that users put focus on length when choosing passwords. The next time you change your password(s) consider creating a passphrase that is longer than 8 characters, includes upper and lower case, special characters and/or numbers. If you follow this suggestion, you will have created a password that is extremely difficult to break.
Additional password security suggestions:
- Create different passwords for different sites (especially important for sites that hold personal financial data)
- Change your passwords every few months (even if the site or software does not require periodic password changes)
- To help remember a new password, use it immediately. Then log in and out several times the first day.