Are you using ridiculously easy passwords for important logins & pieces of information? Well
here’s some information that might make you sit up in your chair and make give you a bit of realisation.
You’ll no doubt remember the post on 500 passwords your friends might be using a year or so ago well SplashData, a big provider of password management solutions has put together a list of 2012’s worst passwords.
The list was created by analysing millions of passwords that have been compromised and posted online by hackers and then indentifying the most common. Of course there are the obvious candidates like “password” but this serves as a timely reminder that we can’t be too cautious when it comes to securing our websites, our logins and anything else that is protected by a password.
Here are the top 10 worst passwords of 2012:
Do you recognise any passwords on the list and god forbid are you using any of them? Change them right now! Because if you don’t, you are asking to get hacked or have personal information stolen.
Our top tip is that the strongest passwords are as long as possible and use a mixture of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
We asked on twitter for password tips and Richard Querrey, the blog editor and tech junkie at www.contractphoneswithfreegifts.com came up with the following handy tip:
I recommend using memorable phrases or song lyrics and substituting some of the letter for numbers and special characters. For example, the Whitney Houston classic I will always love you can easily become iw1llalway5l0vey0u. And before you ask, no that isn’t my password
Other Top Tips for securing Passwords
So is there any hope of keeping our passwords safe? Well yes, we believe so by simply making sure people are educated and teaching them how to pick the right passwords. Here’s out top tips:
1. Think of a word and a number
All you need to do is mix these up a bit to come up with a good password. For example:
Top tip: make sure you mix them up sufficiently. The password notepad1024 is not as strong as the others.
2. It doesn’t have to be too long
Obviously the longer the password the harder it is to guess, but that also makes it harder to remember, you can still make short passwords secure just with some creative thinking:
Pick a phrase: Love Is Blind
And the Password: LIB1596Shakespeare
You get the idea, try it
3. Write down a memory jogger
Everybody forgets things, so if you’re making your passwords harder to remember then it’s likely you might need to jog your memory from time to time. Rather than writing passwords and keeping them in a little black book we recommend using little tips to jog your memory which is unlikely to be understood by anyone else.
Lets take the Whitney Houston example. You could have ‘Whitney’ written down in your notebook, followed by a memory jogger, like this:
Whitney: IWALY + Numbers
Everyone’s mind works differently so no doubt you will have your own unique way of remembering things or note taking, which nobody else will be able to figure out.
4. And finally perhaps most important of all…
No matter how secure you think your passwords are you should definitely change them every so often, because you can never be 100% sure your password hasn’t fallen into the wrong hands.
If you’re logging into various websites and social networks on a daily basis you might want to check out Lastpass which can take the strain out of remembering passwords and generate secure ones for you. Plus it’s free!
What are your top tips for creating secure passwords? Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to give out all your secrets