Its time to review you and your staff passwords


Hacking passwords is very simple and most point-of-sale systems because they process credit cards, virtual products, and they are on the Internet are desirable targets. You probably read a few days ago that The Park Hyatt Sydney and Melbourne systems were cracked. You only heard it because Hyatt is famous. Many more stores have been hacked. In our market space, one of our competitors has admitted several times that their sites been hacked.

The reason security comes up every year about now is because a list is produced of the worst passwords for the previous year. Here is the start of the list.

Here is a free book by them on the subject which is worth a read.


If your password is on their list, then I suggest you change it.

All a hacker would have to do if he had access to your system, is try these passwords in your system and they would have a reasonable chance of cracking your system. Its not hard to do.

Their are other methods commonly used too. Here are some of them.

The easiest way is to ask, listen or read. Someone in your shop simply asks or is told the password. I have gone to shops and seen passwords written down hanging on the wall. Almost anyone can read them.

As a rule you should never write down your passwords.


Another popular way is guessing, people that are close to you often know much about you, your maiden name, your old address, etc. People often reuse passwords, if I know your password on one site, it may open your system to me.

Hackers often use two other methods, the first is simply try every word in the dictionary.

As a rule never use a word in the dictionary.


If that fails a hacker will try every combination of letters, words and punctuation.

Here is some times how long it would take a hacker to crack your password if they have access to your desktop based on a site howsecureismypassword.


Common words
Karen - Instantly
maiden - Instantly

Every combination
television - 8 hours
infomation - 10 days

Note the longer the password the harder it is to crack.

Finally do not check only yourself, what about your staff?

Furthermore as a rule regularly change your passwords.

A simple way to do this is add the first and last character of last year premiership team at the end of the password. For some more tips on how to make good passwords click here.