WHAT IS A PASSWORD?
A password, sometimes called a passcode, is secret data, typically a string of characters, usually used to confirm a user’s identity
Sometimes abbreviated as PW and PWD, a password is a set of secret characters or words used to authenticate access to and secure a digital system. Installing passwords help ensure that computers or data can only be accessed by those granted the right to view or access them.
Different Types of Passwords?
The Computer password is used in distinguishing and authenticating a user if the user has the correct secret key or password it allows them to access the computer system or network and likewise if the users don’t come with correct password it Denys the user to access the computer system or network.
This is the privilege computer offers us which is very handy in terms of securing your personal and valuable information which is stored in computer memory.
CMOS | BIOS Passwords:: These are the PWD which are generally stored in the CMOS battery which is called a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor which is a small circular-shaped cell that allows storing passwords, date, time all the information stored in the CMOS utility program.
This is a lithium cell with 3.5-volt storage capacity installed inside a connector on the computer motherboard. If the CMOS battery is damaged it would not store any information given to it using bios programs.
Users generally have to enter a key from the keyboard to access the bios program which has all the features to change the system configuration suited to our need.
In the BIOS utility program there are certain features where you can add a password to the computer system, change the boot order of the computer, select boot devices, and so on.
You must create a CMOS or bios password to secure your sensitive information from unauthorized access and help the system to work to its full potential.
Administrative Password [Operating System PWD]:: These types of the password are stored in computer memory that is computer hard disk drives to avoid access to unwanted users.
This password generally used to prevent the operating system to load fully without one enters the correct secret key.
If you don’t have the correct password or secret key you will be not allowed to access the computer system whether it be a host or in a computer network.
This PWD secures all your sensitive information stored in computer hard disk like credit card details, personal information which you would not share with anyone, personal photographs and so on.
FEATURES OF A STRONG PASSWORD
Characteristics of strong passwords
- At least 8 characters—the more characters, the better
- A mixture of both uppercase and lowercase letters
- A mixture of letters and numbers
- Inclusion of at least one special character, e.g., ! @ # ? ]
Note: do not use < or > in your password, as both can cause problems in Web browsers
A strong password is hard to guess, but it should be easy for you to remember—a password that has to be written down is not strong, no matter how many of the above characteristics are employed.
While all systems that use the Lafayette NetID and password for authentication support a password with the above characteristics, please note that other systems may not support similarly strong passwords. For example, a system may not recognize case, may have a limit on the number of characters, or may not allow special characters. ITS recommends that in these situations users incorporate as many strong password characteristics as the system will allow.
Examples of weak passwords
- Any word that can be found in a dictionary, in any language (e.g., airplane or aeroplano).
- A dictionary word with some letters simply replaced by numbers (e.g., a1rplan3 or aer0plan0).
- A repeated character or a series of characters (e.g., AAAAA or 12345).
- A keyboard series of characters (e.g., qwerty or poiuy).
- Personal information (e.g., birthdays, names of pets or friends, Social Security number, addresses).
- Anything that’s written down and stored somewhere near your computer.
What is considered a strong password?
A strong password is an effective password that would be difficult to break. The criteria for a suitable password is ten or more uppercase and lowercase characters (the more complex, the better). It also may include some special characters, like an exclamation mark (!), dollar sign ($), or percent symbol(%). Below is an example of a strong password containing uppercase and lowercase characters and several special characters.
By contrast, a weak password is trivial to guess or brute force. Names, birth dates, phone numbers, and easily guessable words are considered weak passwords. Below is an example of a weak password, one that would leave your account vulnerable because it is easy to guess.
Why is it important to use a different password on every website?
If a website you visit gets hacked, and the hacker gains access to your account with a password you’ve used over several sites, it is likely they can access other sites you’ve visited. Therefore, having different passwords for all sites you visit makes it less likely you’ll be hacked. However, even with these precautions, it’s still possible and is still a good idea to change your passwords often.
How often should I change my password?
When to change a password depends on the type of account the password is associated with. For example, a password for a user account on your computer is usually changed less often than a password for an online account.
For a user account on your computer, like a Windows or macOS user account, you don’t need to change the password that often. If multiple users have accounts on the same computer, consider changing your account’s password once every three to six months. If you are the only user of the computer, you can likely change it once a year.Note
If your computer was hacked at some point, or you are concerned about your computer being hacked, consider changing your password more frequently.
User accounts associated with a business are often required to have a password change completed every 30 to 90 days for improved security. If your password is due for a change, you are usually prompted to change the password.
Online user account
Online accounts are more often the target of hackers, especially those related to financial institutions, social media, or online stores. To best protect those user accounts, consider changing your password every 60 to 90 days. For improved security, you may want to consider changing your password every 30 days.
For website accounts where limited or no personal information is stored, or are not associated with financial transactions, consider changing your password at least every 6 to 12 months.
Tips for keeping your password secure
- Change it regularly—once every three to six months.
- Change it if you have the slightest suspicion that the password has become known by a human or a machine.
- Never use it for other websites.
- Avoid typing it on computers that you do not trust; for example, in an Internet café.
- Never save it for a web form on a computer that you do not control or that is used by more than one person.
- Never tell it to anyone.
- Never write it down.
WHAT IS PASSWORD AUTHENTICATION PROTOCOL?
Password Authentication Protocol is a password-based authentication protocol used by Point to Point Protocol to validate users. Almost all network operating system remote servers support PAP. PAP is specified in RFC 1334. PAP is considered a weak authentication scheme
What does password authentication protocol do?
Password Authentication Protocol (PAP) uses a two-way handshake to provide the peer system with a simple method to establish its identity. The handshake is conducted when establishing a link. After the link is established, the remote device sends a user ID and password pair to the authenticating system.
What is password based authentication with example?
For example, a server might require a user to type a name and password before granting access to the server. … The server maintains a list of names and passwords; if a particular name is on the list, and if the user types the correct password, the server grants access.
Advantages of Password Authentication
By John Papiewski
When you log into a computer with a username and password, you are using password authentication, a reliable method for identifying users. You can share your username with others, although the password remains a secret, as it uniquely identifies you to the computer. Password authentication provides a reasonable level of security at a low cost. Alternatives include biometrics, such as a fingerprint scanner; challenge/response where the computer prompts you for more information; and hardware, such as a keycard.
Password authentication systems exist in software. To create them, a programmer creates an input form consisting of two text fields, one standard and one obscured. The standard field accepts the username and the obscured field accepts the password. As the user types in a password, the obscured field responds to each character with an asterisk; this prevents another person from seeing the password over her shoulder. The HTML used to create Web pages includes a convenient obscured password field, as does Microsoft’s Access database and other types of screen input software.
Because software handles password authentication, the only cost comes from the minor effort required for programming. A single authentication program can support any number of users. Unlike keycard and biometric authentication methods, the computer requires no additional hardware expenses to make password authentication work.
Easy to Change
Most password authentication systems let you change your password as often as you want; you log in with your existing user ID and password, and then update the password in your user settings. Biometric authentication systems cannot change; they are fixed to your fingerprints, retinas or other body feature. If you lose an access card or USB stick to a hardware-based system, you can possibly get it replaced, although not as easily as changing a password.
Password authentication is familiar to nearly all computer users; once you’ve learned how to log in to one system, you can apply the same method to others. Software developers don’t need to invent new kinds of authentication each time they create a new app or website, they use the same process already found in existing systems. The benefits of familiarity extend to administrators responsible for setting up and maintaining user security; the same general practices apply to all systems using password authentication. By comparison, hardware and biometric authentication systems are less common and require more training.
Logging in with a user ID and password is straightforward; if they match the data stored in the computer’s security database, the program authenticates them and gives them access. Biometric systems are less reliable; a fingerprint sensor may misread your finger and keep you locked out of the computer. Injuries or other changes to the affected body part will affect reliability of the authentication system, as will problems with the sensor. Disadvantages of Password Authentication Protocol
The most basic form of user authentication, particularly on the Web, is the password authentication protocol. This method of authentication forces you to remember username/password combinations to access accounts or special sections of a website. While effective and in some ways fundamentally a part of online security, password authentication protocols fail when you don’t address them seriously. This means constructing complex passwords and maintaining secrecy. This also means that entities implementing password authentication must safeguard passwords in some way.
DISADVANTAGES OF PASSWORD AUTHENTICATION PROTOCOL
Brute Force Attacks and Complexity
You typically can’t guess a password unless you know something about the user of that password, and then only if the password represents something knowable about that user. Computer programs, however, can launch brute force attacks on password systems. This means that a program literally reads through a provided dictionary of terms, trying each word until the correct combination of characters breaks the password. Typically, protecting yourself from these attacks requires you to create complex passwords that include numbers, letters, and special symbols, which can be hard to remember.
Storage and Encryption
When you use password authentication, you must store passwords and usernames in a database to authenticate users. If you don’t have strong server security, someone can break into the database and read the passwords. One way to address this is to use password “hashing,” which involves running the password through a hash algorithm that produces a unique value based on the password and stores the hash value instead of the password itself. If the database is breached, the attacker can read only the hashes and have no idea what the passwords are. However, hashing in this sense exists only due to the inherent weakness of plain text password authentication.
Secrecy and Public Use
Like many people, you probably use the Internet in pubic places such as libraries or cafes. Inevitably, you’ll also probably log into various websites using passwords while in this public place. This introduces multiple security issues inherent to password authentication. First, someone physically near you may look over your shoulder and read your password, or look at your keyboard and note your key strokes. Second, someone connected to the network might try to intercept your password information as you log in using network programs that monitor the local Wi-Fi hot spot.
Perhaps most importantly, passwords are only as strong and secure as equal to the amount of effort used to maintain them. You may find that many people use common password tropes, such as “password,” “1234,” or “pass” as passwords for sites they use. Furthermore, many will use the same password for multiple sites, meaning that if one site is compromised, then any other site that uses that password is also compromised. Also, you’ll find that many users don’t change from default passwords, such as passwords defined by software manufacturers only meant to function temporarily. If someone knows the manufacturer’s default password for a product, he’s liable to try those passwords first.
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