Passwords are a key security feature that are used to access emails, systems, databases, etc. As we continue to take time to educate ourselves on a few How-Tos about ICTs to make your work easy and secure. Please take the time to understand these things. At times people don’t want to put strong passwords and they say that they will forget, the reason a password should be somewhat complicated is to make it hard for a cyber-criminal to crack it. Never think that the password to your email should just be Arthur123, that seems easy even though it meets the requirements but it can be easily guessed.
Research shows that 170 days is the average time, it takes to detect a malicious attack and that passwords like “12345678” are cracked during a single sneeze. The time it takes to crack a google software engineer’s password is 0.2 seconds. With these statistics, it should be a wakeup call.
You could be wondering, How do cybercriminals hack passwords?
They use a number of ways like key logger attacks, brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and phishing attacks.
To explain one, A key logger attack is a type of surveillance technology used to record and monitor each keystroke typed on a specific device’s keyboard. Cybercriminals use key loggers as a spyware tool to steal personal information, login information, and sensitive enterprise data. They can be bought or they can be installed on the computer without your knowledge through a malicious program. It is good practice to always ask the systems administrator to audit what applications are running on your computer so that anything that looks suspicious is removed.
Why key loggers are a threat?
Unlike other types of malicious programs, They present no threat to the system itself however they can pose a serious threat to users, as they can be used to intercept passwords and other confidential information entered via the keyboard. As a result, cybercriminals can get PIN codes and account numbers for e-payment systems, passwords to online gaming accounts, email addresses, user names, email passwords
How Key loggers are spread
• A key logger can be installed when a user opens a file attached to an email
• A key logger can be installed by another malicious program already present on the victim machine, if the program is capable of downloading and installing other malware to the system.
Things to do
• Please ask systems administrators to audit what applications are running so that unwanted software is removed, that will even free up more space so that your PC can run well.
• Make sure only an ICT personnel checks through your computer, if something isn’t clear, they can always advice, they can check to see if your security settings on the computer are good and that it is up to date with update antivirus..
• Don’t share passwords or even write them on sticky notes on the computer and out of the PC on pieces of paper thrown anywhere.