Anyone who has been hacked before can often trace it to password issues. In many cases, hackers broke pass easy passwords, then got in someone’s account doing whatever they wished to do. Want to stop them?
The first step we can take is avoiding the worst passwords ever! A password security firm called Splash Data has come up with the worst passwords used in 2014, the most likely to get hacked. Many have been on the worst list for years. The worst password of 2014 was ‘123456’. That should come as no surprise because ‘123456’ was the worst password of 2013 too. Rounding out the worst five are ‘password’, ‘12345’, ‘12345678’, and ‘qwerty’. While it’s advised you mix numbers and letters, don’t choose ‘abc123’. That made the worst 25 (#14). Other bad password choices include generic sports like ‘football’ (#10) and ‘baseball’ (#8). Don’t use common names, especially names like Michael (#20). Superheroes won’t come to your bad password rescue either, because ‘Batman (#24) and ‘Superman’ (#21) made this dubious list. When it comes to protecting yourself from hackers, and from other online monsters, it’s a good idea to trust no one. Funny thing, because the password ‘trustno1’ was ranked 25th worst password to use.
When I look at this list, I ask myself, “People are still using some of these passwords?” This is especially true for the top 5. If I were a hacker (don’t worry, I’m not), easy numeric codes are the first thing I would try, following generic sports, common names, and pop culture themes. There are ways to make it harder for them. Instead of just naming a sport, name your favorite sports team followed by a year they did something significant. Don’t just use a common name; use the name plus a milestone date, like first day of school, an award won, first drivers licence or car, high school or college graduation, or wedding or birth of a child. One thing that’s helped me strengthen passwords is using book passages, and mixing numbers and letters like that. What are some of your password tips?