Every day thousands of spam emails are sent out from various inboxes around the globe. Unwittingly, you might be the owner of one of those inboxes, which has been hacked due to an easy password, and you are, unbeknownst to you, overwhelming other people’s inboxes with spam. It doesn’t take long for your email to be blacklisted by DNS Real-time Blackhole Lists, which monitor IP addresses for spam.
So why do I have to have a secure password?
Hackers use a variety of programs to gain access to your email account and one of the most common methods of doing this is called ‘brute force attack’, which is where the hacker uses a script to guess your password. The script will check the most common passwords used on the internet to gain access to your account and there’s a reason those passwords are the most common passwords.
Netregistry has brute force protection that stops hackers by locking them out after 30 attempts, but if you have one of the top 30 most common passwords, it won’t be long before they’re in.
My password is secure, why am I affected?
Your email is hosted on a server shared by several other email accounts. This means that if an email address hosted on the same server as you is picked up for spam, then the entire IP address is blacklisted and when one inbox gets blocked, so does every other email inbox on the same IP address. As a result, you might find your email is blacklisted, even though you have a secure password or haven't been hacked. As a precaution, we recommend changing you password regularly and be sure to avoid using any of your last five passwords.
What passwords should I avoid?
The simple answer to this is: anything obvious. From your birthday, to your kids’ names or the name of your business, these are the kinds of passwords that anyone who has access to information about you will be able to use against you. You should also avoid anything on the list of most common passwords, which you can find here.
What should I add into my password to make it more secure?
Your password should be a word, or a string of words, that isn’t easily picked up by a brute force attack script. For instance, why not pick your favourite long adjective like precocious or flamboyant. To make it even more secure, add numbers and symbols, such as precoc!ous5 or fl@mboy@nt233. Keep in mind that you need to remember your password, so leave a hint for yourself somewhere, such as a fake name and number that will call to mind your password – using the examples, you could use the name of someone you know who is precocious or flamboyant and include the number combination in the fake number.