Expert shows hackers really don’t want to deal with complicated passwords

While you already know that you shouldn’t be using 12345 as your password — even though millions still do, duh — a new survey shows you should take those “strong password” recommendations seriously. 

A security expert with Microsoft tells The Record that a longer, stronger password will indeed keep hackers from messing with your stuff. 

Ross Bevington‘s specialty is to create so-called “honeypots” — fake systems that attract hackers — in order to study their attacks, particularly “brute force” attacks, that sniff out passwords by firing scores of likely passwords to get into a given system. 

To boot, Bevington has a cool-sounding title: He’s Microsoft’s Head of Deception.

“I analyzed the credentials entered from more than 25 million brute force attacks…Seventy-seven percent of attempts used a password between 1 and 7 characters. A password over 10 characters was only seen in 6% of cases.”

That means, take some time to come up with a longer and stronger password, like one that uses special characters, and hackers won’t bother. 

A recent study from online security company Bitdefender shows 60% of consumers were deemed “exposed”  to threats, thanks to weak passwords, password sharing, and other risky behaviors. 

More than half of the thousands of online users polled by the company admit they use the same password across multiple social media platforms, which is another no-no.