A bit more on digital security
Theory

A bit more on digital security

Jun 6, 2019

Wouldn’t you agree that many of us tend to underestimate the threats of the global network? Let’s not forget to mention that we often come up with PIN codes and passwords as if we were just dreaming of being hacked.

1234 or 20192019?
If you travel often, you probably noticed how Wi-Fi passwords at cafes and restaurants are all very similar. They either include a range of digits, i.e., from 1 to 7, or the name of the restaurant, but most often, it’s the name of the restaurant and the year. For avid travelers, guessing Wi-Fi passwords turns into a kind of competition. And we are merely wondering about how fast it can be guessed, and not about whether it will work out at all.
Now imagine that in addition to innocent travelers who want to send photos to friends using free WiFi, there are scammers who are craving your money. If the average tourist after 5-10 trips can already roughly figure out the WiFi password, how soon will a professional digital thief guess what your, say, phone password is?

Here is a widely replicated list of the most popular passwords:
123456
12345
password
123456789
qwerty
12345678

Also popular are names of pets and dates of birth, or alphanumeric passwords like lenka111 or egor777.
There is no point in going on. The logic is clear and simple. Of course, we believe that you are a more responsible person than most of us, but still

Did you see your password on this list?
If so, do not be lazy – go and change it. But don’t keep track of your passwords on digital devices - phones or laptops. If you don’t trust your memory, it is best to write them down, in a notebook at home, or on some unusual item, on the wallpaper, in other words, in a place where no one will look for it. It is unreasonable to store your phone password on a piece of paper in the phone case – this is just as short-sighted as writing a PIN code directly on your bank card.

How to choose a password?
We can hardly say anything new on this topic, but if you listen to these simple tips, you are likely to avoid numerous problems.
There is a concept of survival bias. This term is used to describe a situation when there is a lot of information on some people (i.e., “survivors”), while there is practically no information on others (i.e., “dead”). Basically, if you were sinking and a dolphin shoved you to the shore, then you and the people around you may think that dolphins are kind and peaceful creatures and willing to help people. But this is only because those drowned by conditional dolphins cannot tell us about it.

Why did we use this example? You need to lock the barn door before the horse is stolen. If you’ve never been robbed, it doesn’t mean that the door should not be locked. The same goes for the password.

Change it today. The rules are simple:
- Use both letters and numbers
- Use letters of different register
- At least 9 characters long
- Do not tell anyone your password. Not a single person.
- Do not use simple passwords anywhere. It does not matter that it’s the mailbox for shoe delivery.
- Don’t be lazy, come up with a password a bit more complicated than 1234
- Change passwords regularly

Remember - no one can take care of your safety better than you.