I was checking my email today l and I came across a message from a Tech Marks The Spot reader. They found an article on SafetyDetectives titled: “The 20 Most Hacked Passwords in the World: Is Yours Here?”. It is written by Michael Marino. The person that messaged me told me that it is an interesting and in depth article and recommended that I share it with all of you. After I read the article I knew that I had to share it. I want to state that I didn’t write any portion of the article and it is the work of Michael Marino at SafetyDetectives.
One of the most vital personal digital security tools and also one of the most overlooked is the password. It stands as a gatekeeper and line of defense between your information and the wilds of the Internet. What do many of us do with such a vital layer of defense? We make passwords that are simple and easy to guess. We write passwords down where others may find them. We share passwords with others that we might not completely trust. The important thing to understand is that your password is important and should be treated as such.
First I am going to give you some password basics and then I highly recommend that you check out Michael Marino’s important article. Before we start let’s go over some definitions.
We all know what this one means. A password is a string of secret characters you must provide to sign into an account or onto a computer.
A passphrase is a secret string of words you must provide to sign into an account or onto a computer.
Two Factor Authentication
Two factor authentication is a strong second layer of security. With two factor authentication enabled, after a password is entered the person attempting to sign in is required to also enter a code that is sent to the account owner either through text or an authentication app. One that I use and highly recommend and use myself is Authy. Learn how to get and use it here.
Now let’s check out some very easy to crack overused passwords. If you are using any of these I highly recommend that you change your password now.
The Most Common Passwords in the World
The Most Common Passwords in the United States
Now we are going to go over some basic tips to help you create a stronger password.
How to Create a Secure Password
- The password should be at least eight characters. That is the minimum size. The longer the password the better.
- The password should include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Avoid using obvious information about yourself in the password. Names, birthdays, phone numbers, (why would anyone do this?), and other personal information should never be included. Your significant other or personal information about them? Nope. Your favorite color, movie, or favorite anything? A big nope. It is best to keep your password as hard to guess as possible.
- Passphrases are a better option than passwords.
- Never write your passwords down.
- Avoid sharing your passwords as much as possible.
- Change your passwords periodically.
- Try not to use the same password on multiple accounts,
- If two factor authentication is available use it.
These are just the basics. Be careful what passwords you use and what you do with them.
Tech on and have the best day.