How Secure is your Windows Password?

It may be time to review the Windows passwords among millions of Microsoft operating system users around the world. With the ready availability of Windows password crackers which can easily be downloaded from the Internet, it might be a good practice to review and reset your Windows passwords now.

One of the best free Windows password crackers claims to be able to recover a seven-character password that contains big and small letters, numbers and special characters at 99 percent accuracy rate. It can also crack eight-character passwords containing big and small letters plus numbers but no special character or punctuation at the same success rate.

In the light of these developments, using an eight-character password that contains big and small letters together with numbers and special characters would be a safe enough option. This Windows password configuration cannot be cracked using the free available password recovery programs.

Don't use an eight-character password that contains only big and small letters with numbers. This type of password can be easily found using the free crackers available at the Internet. You should also never use a dictionary word or a string containing only numbers as your Windows password. These passwords types can be easily cracked in a few minutes or less using the available free download crackers.

You can try using a password recovery tool so you can realize how vulnerable your current Windows passwords are. The most notable of these tools are programs that run under a Linux operating system that can be run from a CD or DVD ROM disk. The programs access the files where hashes of your Windows passwords are hidden. To be able to crack complex passwords, you need to download the so-called rainbow tables that range in size from a few gigabytes to hundreds of gigabytes.

There is also a type of recovery tool that can remove the password of any Windows user account including the Administrator account which can be used to change your Windows configuration settings. This tool also comes in the form of a complete Linux operation system and recovery tool that can be run from a CD or DVD ROM drive. To use it, you need to download its ISO file and burn this file to a blank CD or DVD disk and change the BIOS setting of your computer to boot from the CD or DVD ROM drive.

A person with malicious intent can run this program on you computer and remove the password on your computer's Administrator account. He can then log on to your computer, read or delete files, and change other configuration settings including your password settings. You will then be unable to use your computer the next time.

A good practice on using passwords is not to let your Internet browser remember the passwords for critical websites that you use like for example your bank's web site. Most browsers will by default ask you if you wish a website password to be remembered so you don't have to enter it when visiting the website a second time. This is a dangerous practice that can cause you a lot of problems when your computer is lost or stolen or used without your permission.

A malicious hacker may for example surreptitiously get hold of your laptop, run a password cracking tool and discover your password, and then log on to the computer using your user name. He can then access your bank's account or email messages or maybe read confidential files in your computer. This shows you how critical your Windows password is and how important it is not to let your Internet browser save passwords for sensitive websites that you visit.

Another way that a malicious user can make use of your computer is by using a Windows recovery disk. The Windows recovery disk can be freely downloaded from the Internet and burned to a blank CD or DVD disc. It is run by putting the recovery disk in your CD or DVD ROM drive and setting up your computer to boot from this drive.

Someone with bad intent can run a Windows recovery disk on your computer, change the administrator password and account settings, and do other malicious things on the files in your computer. So if you think that no one can use your computer because you need a user account and a password to use it, you are greatly mistaken. I have shown you above at least three ways by which a malicious hacker can get into your computer system.

So if you have sensitive information contained in your computer, it would be a good practice to always make sure that your computer is physically secure, that is, no one is able to use it without your knowledge or it is safe from being stolen or getting lost. Or, if you're unable to do this, make sure that you do not store sensitive and highly confidential information in your computer or laptop.

Remember that to prevent your Windows password from being readily cracked using free tools from the Internet, make sure that it has at least eight characters in it and it must include big and small letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.

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