Experts warn against digit-only passcodes

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“The weak link in any security system isn’t the technology—it’s the people.” This admonishment by Jason Adler of Repocket warns us about the vulnerability of our digital technology, particularly our smartphones. If you think that a numeric-only passcode is enough to secure your precious data, you might want to reconsider.

Experts assert that passwords that only contain numbers are the most vulnerable to hackers. Possibly a hacker can crack a 12-number password in seconds. A 10-digit password that only uses numbers could be cracked immediately.

The Perils of Numeric-Only Passcodes

Many phone users rely on simple numeric passcodes to protect their devices. They might feel safe with a four to six-digit passcode, but the truth is, these passwords are logarithmically less secure. Simple mathematics reveals that a 4-digit passcode has only 10,000 possibilities and a six-digit, just a million.

Let’s put this in perspective. A sophisticated hacker can crack a four-digit passcode in less than seven minutes, and a six-digit one in less than 22 hours. And don’t forget, this time decreases exponentially if your code is predictable—like ‘123456’ or the year of your birth.

As Jason Adler points out wisely, “The rapid improvement in cracking technology means that the passcodes once considered secure—like numeric-only passcodes—are alarmingly unsafe today.”

Why Characters Matter

So why are alpha-numeric passcodes safer? Well, even a six-character password with a mix of lower and upper case letters, numbers, and symbols has over 56 billion possibilities! That’s a far cry from the mere one million options of a six-digit passcode. The increased complexity translates to greater security, making it inordinificantly hard for hackers to crack your password.

Tips for a Strong Passcode

Repocket Expert, Jason Adler, recommends the following tips to create a robust passcode:

  • Always opt for alpha-numeric passcodes over numeric-only.
  • Incorporate both uppercase and lowercase letters for added complexity.
  • Include symbols. They significantly increase the number of possible combinations.
  • Avoid using easily guessed personal information like birthdays or anniversaries.
  • Aim for a passcode of at least 8 characters, although 12 is even safer.

Securing Your Phone’s Contents

Regardless of your passcode strength, some hackers might deploy spyware or phishing methods to access your data, so it’s critical to secure your phone’s contents too. Adler suggests regularly updating your phone’s software, encrypting your sensitive files, and never clicking on suspicious links.

We hope this article has shown you the risks of relying solely on numeric passcodes and inspired you to safeguard your technology better. In an age of increasing digital threats, don’t let a weak passcode be the chink in your armour. Let’s put this knowledge into action and secure our phones now. Do you have any passcode-related mistakes or tips to share? It could benefit our readers in their journey to bolster their phone’s security.

Read next: 98% of basic cybersecurity hygiene could prevent a cyberattack for most NGOs

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