Computer passwords require muscle to fight hackers


COLUMBUS, Ga —  Technology has made our lives more convenient. But as more of us use the Internet for everything from social media to banking, hackers are becoming more sophisticated. Today, it’s more important than ever to have complex passwords.

Recently, the NFL’s Twitter account issued a status that announced the death of its Commission Roger Goddell. That report was bogus, but the tasteless prank came about because someone put the NFL’s Twitter account’s password in an email. A hacker was able to snag it. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, also recently had some of his social media accounts hacked.  The reason is because he used the same passwords for multiple accounts.  That made him more vulnerable to hackers.

So what can we do to keep our information safe on the Internet?  It’s all about password complexity.  Columbus computer expert Robert Koehler says password complexity is a must. He adds that frequently changing passwords is important.  Every 90 days is a good rule.  In addition, we should never use the same passwords for multiple accounts.

“The most recent hacking software we have experienced, they can do about 91 billion guesses a second, so at nine that number jumps up much higher and takes much longer to hack,” Koehler tells News 3.  “You’ll find that the unscrupulous folks out there will often actually move on to a softer target before they can crack a nine alphanumeric with special characters.”

Koehler adds none of us should write down our passwords on paper.  We should not store them on our computers or smartphones, either, unless we have encryption software.  He suggests a free encryption software called KeePass.  It can be loaded on computers and smartphones.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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