Oct 3, 2008

Introduction to Password

First of all, what exactly is a password.A password is best described as a verification or an authentication tool or object. Passwords are used to ensure legal and proper access to only those people who have the authority or the permission to view the data.A password is required in many places,you are required a password, to access your Inbox, you are required a password to dial up to your Internet Service Provider and in some organisations you also need to enter a password to start the system.At all places the Username and Password pair is used to authenticate the user.Usernames are used to identify the user and the password is used to authenticate the user and for every unique username there is a unique password.Take the example of the Lock and Key, for every lock you need a unique key to open it and enter.Here the Lock acts as the Username and the password would be the key.So passwords are as important as the key of your house.

Your house remains safe as long as only you who is the rightful owner has the key and no one else finds it.Similiarly, the concept behind passwords is that it is only the rightful owner who knows the password and no one else knows it.Everyday we hear about password stealing,computer break ins etc.Sometimes the user chooses very lame passwords which are easily guessed by hackers.There are certain guidelines which I would like to tell you which you must keep in mind while choosing a password:

1. Never keep your password same as your Username
2. Never choose your own name, Date of Birth, spouse's name, pet's name, child's name etc as your password, those are the first ones which are tried by a hacker.
3. Some people are so lazy that they keep their password to be 'Enter' (Carriage return).
4. Try to choose a word which is not in the dictionary and contains both numbers and alphabets,and if possible use both Lower Case and Upper Case alphabets and also symbols like
(#,$,%,^ etc) as they can be cracked only be brute force password crackers which take too long a time to crack.
You may say that choosing of weak passwords is responsible for the large number of hacks, but people themselves are the weakest chain in the whole authentication process.Most people usually use lame passwords like those I mentioned above, and those who use excellent passwords are not able to remember them and then write the password down on a piece of paper and stick it on their monitor.One should try his level best to remember weird passwords if he wants to keep his system secure.The best places where you can find the passwords, would be beneath the keyboard, behind the CPU or even on the sides of the monitor.Some people have trouble remembering the large number of passwords that they are asked for,while using various services, as a result they use the same password everywhere.Thus knowing even a single password might help in some cases.