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Passwords: Choose Wisely, Live Well

A teacher needs to show a presentation to the class but cannot remember the password to her laptop. One child valiantly offers to help, types in the word 'password,' and immediately gains access to the laptop much to the amusement of the class.

That was an example of a scenario to exhibit how easy it has become to guess passwords. People these days are in such a hurry to create a new account and gain initial security to their digital systems that they prefer to pay little heed to the actual selection of passwords.

According to a survey by Imperva, a company which makes softwares to prevent hacking, one-third of passwords are of six or even less characters, depending on the minimum requirement of each website. Not much thought is given to choosing the code, and usually consist of limited alphanumerics - including names, places, letters which are consecutive on the keyboard, or consecutive numbers.

Even these surveys are not usually enough to urge people to change their password. Simplicity, in the case of passwords, are taken as an open invitation by hackers. People constantly complain about losing access to their accounts and having 'hacker trouble.' Well this wouldn't have perhaps been the case if the password hadn't been so predictable.

2,90,731 use '123456' as their password. Still sitting and smiling because it's one number short from your password? Very well then - just know that '12345' is the password of 79078 people, while '123456789' is in third position, protecting 76790 people.

Not a person of numbered passwords? Your accounts may still be in danger if your passwords are anything from 'password' (61958 users) and 'iloveyou' (51622 users) to 'princess' which is used by 35231 princesses and 'rockyou' used by the 22588 self-proclaimed rock stars who rock hackers' world.

Numbered-password owners, do not be relieved because the list is not over just yet. '1234567' and '12345678' are the eighth are ninth most popular, being used by 21726 and 20553 people respectively. Number 10 on the Imperva list is 'abc123' used by 17542 people unleashing the kindergarteners within.

In a country like Bangladesh it is uncommon to have names like 'daniel' and 'courtney' which are other very commonly used passwords abroad. Still, what's the point of keeping a password when it is just going to be commonplace and cause the account to fall victim of just another hacker?

People can at least keep unique passwords to feel good about themselves. "I have an uncommon password, I am unique," should be the goal until you are convinced. Try different combinations, get creative, use capital letters - anything but 123456 because that will directly translate to, "Hack me."

Hackers have their ways to gain access to accounts but an easy step is definitely to guess passwords. It's your job to ensure your own security. Say no to easy passwords, say no to hackers. Why make it easy for them?

SOURCE: New York Times
By Padya Paramita


The Trip to the Zoo

Last week we visited the National Zoo in Mirpur. Upon entering we were suprised to see many shops of toys, flowers etc. in the zoo. We were eager to see the animals. First we saw the monkeys, some were hanging, some were eating and some were sitting. Then we saw the birds; storks, flamingos, eagles, vultures, kites, parrots, white pigeons and cockatoos. Then we saw the animals; lions, tigers, otters, giraffe, porcupines, bears, horses and “Neel-gai”. I wanted to ride on the horse's back. But there was a long queue of children there. After watching the animals, we went to the Animal Museum. We saw stuffed animals and birds there. We saw many containers, there were many things in them such as starfish, potted jelly fish, calves and eggs of snakes and crocodiles. Then we went to see the fish in the aquarium. We saw many fish there. Then we saw some other animals like crocodiles, guinea pigs, deer and hippopotamus.

There was a children's park where we played, took some rest and had some snacks. Then it was time to return home. I wish I could visit the zoo soon.

By Otondrila Oporajita
S.F.X. Greenherald In't school



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