Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Longer passwords won’t save you from hackers

Longer passwords won’t save you from hackers

Strong passwords rely on complexity, not just length, so upgrading from “12345” to “12345678” won’t keep hackers at bay.

The mind-numbingly foolish “123456” has once again topped the list of most popular passwords, according to SplashData’s annual analysis of leaked passwords. The ever-popular “password” remains in second spot, while “12345” has lost third position to the far more fiendish “12345678”.

Not only does this tell us that some people continue to rely on stupid passwords, it also tells us that when they do heed the warnings about online security they upgrade to a new password that’s almost as stupid. Hackers rely on the fact that people are lazy – you’re not going to fool them with longer passwords like “1234567890”, “qwertyuiop” or the cunning “1qaz2wsx”.

A strong password relies on complexity – it needs to be both difficult for a person to guess and difficult for a computer to crack by brute force. Hacking tools work their way down the list of popular passwords like “123456” and then run through the dictionary, so even a great 20-letter word like “deoxyribonucleotides” probably won’t keep hackers out for long if they’re determined to break into your account.

People sometimes use weak passwords because they think they’ve got nothing to hide, but you’re actually putting your friends at risk by making it easy for hackers to impersonate you. Hackers know that your friends are more likely to fall for online scams, or click on infected links, if your friends think the message came from you rather than a stranger.

The best passwords are completely random, with a combination of upper and lowercase letters mixed with numbers and symbols. For example the 14-character “j@2Gpk%LS/9tS&” is a much stronger password than a longer dictionary word. Of course it’s tough to remember a truly random password, but it’s not hard to devise passwords which are easy to remember but look like gibberish to anyone else.

One useful trick is to start with a phrase or lyric that’s easy to remember and then grab the first letter from each word. A simple nursery rhyme like Old King Cole can form the basis of a long and complicated password like “OkCwAmOs%AaMoSwH*70”. Sing along in your head as you type in your password and you’ll never forget it.

You obviously need more than one password, so you might devise a series of passwords based on different lines of the nursery rhyme. It might seem a little childish, but not as childish as sticking with “123456” as your password.


Recent News

We’ve ALL been there. You’re working away on that big monthly report for work and all of a sudden you start to hear what sounds like a fan going into overdrive. Panicked, you pick up your laptop and it’s super hot to the touch! Your computer starts working slower than usual and you even get

Every year since 1967, the US Consumer Electronics Show, or CES for short shows off the latest in technological innovations and products that manufacturers are hoping to bring to market. Back in 1967, that would have encompassed a lot of radio and TV products. You don’t so much see radio as a key part of

As I’m writing this, the Consumer Electronics Show that would usually take place in Las Vegas is instead being staged entirely online, due to the ongoing pandemic issues. CES has for the longest time been the place where big consumer electronics companies show off their latest TV innovations, and while it’s not debuting this year,

Like many Australians, I survive our hotter summer months thanks to the invention of air conditioning. Not that I can’t sweat it out when I have to, but equally, a good AC unit can make a hotbox of a home into something considerably more comfortable. Air conditioning isn’t a new invention – I looked it

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More