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Protecting Your Site from Hackers with Strong Passwords

While most security measures on a server should be handled by a professional systems administrator, there are many things that you, the website owner, can do to protect your site as well. First and foremost, one of the best things that you can do to protect your site from hackers is to make sure that you have a strong password to protect your site from brute force attacks. Brute force attacks are when a hacker (or, more likely, an application the hacker wrote) attempts to break onto your server using thousands of passwords until a winning combination is found. The easier or more common your password is, the easier it is for the hacker's application to get into your site. Then, once your site is compromised, there is no telling what the hacker might do. Fortunately, by using a "strong password", you can make the hacker's job slightly more difficult in this regard.

So, what is a strong password? A strong password is a password that would take a LONG time to find using "brute force" methods. Let's say that you have a password 2345. The password is only 4 characters long, and it's only using numbers, which means that there are only 10,000 possible combinations that the hacker needs to try. Now, if you know anything about computers, then you know that it doesn't take long for a computer program to try 10,000 combinations. However, if you make the password 4 characters with lowercase, uppercase, and numbers that increases the possibilities to 14,776,336. Then, increasing that password to become 8 characters increases the possibilities to 218,340,105,584,896, which becomes a "strong password" that is hard to get using brute force methods.

A strong password looks something like this: 5claYdoR. While a password like that may be harder to remember than your dog's name, it is also more secure and will go a long way to protecting your site from hackers.