Have you heard of iDict? It’s a tool that hackers can use to get passwords via what’s called brute force attacks. It’s designed to crack into iCloud’s passwords, and supposedly it can circumvent Apple’s anti-brute force attack security.

5DBut iDict doesn’t have as big a bite as you might think. A long, strong password is no match for iDict. But if you have a password that’s commonly used (yes, hundreds of people may have your exact passwords; you’re not as original as you think), then it will be a field day for iDict.

Some examples of passwords that iDict will easily snatch are:

password1, p@ssw0rd, passw0rd, pa55word—let me stop here for a moment. What goes on in the heads of people who use a variation of the word “password” as a password? I’m sure that “pa$$word” is on this list too.

And here are more: Princess1, Michael1, Jessica1, Michelle1 (do you see a pattern here?) and also John3:16, abc123ABC and 12qw!@QW. Another recently popular password is Blink182, named after a band.

Change your password immediately if it’s on this list or any larger list you may come upon. And don’t change it to “passwerdd” or “Metallica1” or a common name with a number after it. Come on, put a little passion into creating a password. Be creative. Make up a name and include different symbols.

For additional security, use two-factor authentication when possible for your accounts.

Though iCloud has had some patch-up work since the breach involving naked photos of celebrities (Don’t want your nude pictures leaking out? Don’t put’em in cyberspace!), iCloud still has vulnerabilities.

And hackers know that and will use iDict. If your password isn’t on the top 500 list from github.com, but you wonder if it’s strong enough, change it. If it has a keyboard sequence or word that can be found in a dictionary, change it. If it’s all letters, change it. If it’s all numbers, change it.

Make it loooooong. Make it unintelligible. Dazzle it up with various symbols like $, @, % and &. Make it take two million years for a hacker’s automated password cracking tools to stumble upon it.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention.

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