Saturday, July 27, 2013

Only Ten Minutes to Crack Your Password

I have a love hate relationship with technology. I love my data backup box in the horrible event of a computer crash. Last time my computer blew up I lost a manuscript. Talk about devastation. At least I had most of it on paper. What I also hate about the technology is the vulnerability of being on the World Wide Web. Love the information available, but aren’t you sick of hackers? For the second time this year my computer took a trip to the shop for a virus. Couldn’t these people use their knowledge and talents for something productive for society? My ‘computer guy’ said my XP version is no longer automatically updated for viruses like windows 7 and 8. I guess, according to the powers that be, my computer is outdated. So, because of hackers I need to update to a newer computer more often.

73% of all Americans have fallen victim to some type of cyber crime. It only takes ten minutes to crack a lower case password that is six characters long. If you add two letters and a few uppercase letters to that password, it takes three years. Add one more character, some numbers and symbols and it would take 44,530 years to crack. Problem with that theory is that I would never remember the password.

How about you? I’d love to hear what you love about your convenient technology and what you hate. Go ahead sound off.

In Action Thriller, Bolt Action from Champagne Books, Detective Leslie Bolt is a smart talking, gun hording, Harley riding investigator forced to work a serial murder case with her sexy ex-lover.  After a childhood of abuse suffered at the hand of her father, Leslie sleeps with a Ruger Blackhawk .357 under her pillow, has a Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker rifle in her broom closet, and a Saturday Night Special stashed in her road-hog cookie jar. The body count mounts and Detective Bolt must conquer her own past, as she races to capture “The State Quarter Killer” before her sister is the next victim.  Secrets of the past, murder, deception, sexual tension, and “The State Quarter Killer”, Bolt Action offers it all.


Unknown said...

I too have lost stuff from crashes. I'm so gun shy now I store three full thumb drives with complete backups of everything. One I carry in my pocket always, one my wife stores in her pocket book, and one my son holds for me. The update periods are different (week, two months, six months) but I'm prepared for Armageddon now (g).

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I keep important work stored on flash drives, too. Although I've not suffered a complete crash, I have lost material due to my own fault.

Two things I'd advise: 1. Send your flash drive of backups to trusted friends out of state. That way be it tornado, flood, sinkhole, power outage, blizzard, hurricane or earthquake someone's got you covered. I keep a file of passwords on a flash drive calling it by an unrelated name.

2. When I make up a password, I use a category of favorite items and replace some of the letters with symbols and capitols. They are easier to remember.

Victoria Roder said...

I guess once you lose the information it is a lesson learned forever. I love the idea of sending the backup to someone else. Thanks for the tip!

Jude Johnson said...

I have a separate hard drive that I load my backup files on monthly--and don't leave it plugged in to the PC. All my writing projects are multi-copied on different thumb drives. Also with passwords, I read recently that one way to make them less likely to be cracked but yet easier for you to remember is to split your zip code in different ways and then a word for the site. For example, 123GooG45 for Google, 12Yah345 for Yahoo, etc.
As for me, I have a small hardback notebook I keep my passwords in that's stored in a different room from my PC, and I use three different foreign languages for words as well.


Victoria Roder said...

Great ideas, Jude!

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

The foreign languages must give "them" fits, Jude.

Michele said...

I also do not want to use the same password on more than one site! If one site gets hacked, they have access to all your info. So I have to write down the passwords for each site. And I try to add a number or symbol and a capital letter. Lots of work to stay cyber-safe!