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Passwords—Keep Them to Yourself! (Part 2)

May 28, 2015

stock-photo-18977236-password-enter-keyWhen it comes to choosing a password, it is common for some of us to throw creativity out of the window and choose something more convenient, something easier to remember. It can be a hassle when trying to create a new account on a website, or when we are prompted to change our passwords for “security reasons” to try and generate a password that is secure, or not-easily guessed. Most of us are more liable to choose a password that’s easy on our memory.

The following is a current list of the top 25 most commonly used passwords:

1. 123456

2. password

3. 12345678

4. qwerty

5. abc123

6. 123456789

7. 111111

8. 1234567

9. iloveyou

10. adobe123

11. 123123

12. admin

13. 1234567890

14. letmein

15. photoshop

16. 1234

17. monkey

18. shadow

19. sunshine

20. 12345

21. password1

22. princess

23. azerty

24. trustno1

25. 000000

Because these are the most popular passwords seen today, they are also the most hackable passwords. You put yourself at high risk for malware, virus, and security breach when you use a password that is easily guessed. Amongst easily guessed passwords are also passwords that contain a part of your address or phone number, your children/pet/spouse’s names, or your birthday.

Today, most password cracking programs can process tens of thousands of different passwords in one second. These programs generate lists of possible passwords that include common passwords, dictionary words, and information specific to you. But there are measures you can take to make it difficult for hackers and password cracking programs to find your password. Avoid using any common passwords, or variations of these passwords (such as “password”, “password1”, “p@$$w0rd”, “drowssap”—password backwards—or “Password”). Also, use different passwords on different accounts. Keeping the same password in multiple applications keeps you vulnerable for attacks. If your password is guessed for one account and you have the same password in many different places, your password has also been guessed for these other accounts.

The best way to keep yourself safe when choosing a password is to make it as secure as possible. You can refer to our last password article to find the “phrase” method for passwords. Here are some more tips to keep in mind when generating and choosing a secure password:

  1. Create a compound word. Choose three small words that are significant to you and combine them into one password. For example, you can use “mydogspot” or “jackssisterjane”. To make them even more complex, capitalize the first three letters of each word or replace some of the letters with characters such as $,@,!, or &.
  2. Choose two words and combine their letters. Choose one letter of the first word and one letter of the second word, and repeat this until you get to the last letter of each word. Here’s an example:
    1. Say the two chosen words are house and plane.
      1. Password: hpoluasnee (bold italicized letters spell “house”, other letters spell “plane”)
  3. Use the letters underneath your phone number or zip code. Look at the letters directly beneath it. Let’s say you chose 1. The numbers directly beneath the 1 key are Q, A, and Z. Now, when you create your password, press the first number that you chose, then press all of the letter keys that are directly beneath it. Do this with all of your numbers. Now all you have to remember are the numbers. So for 39503, your password is 3edc9ol5tgb0p3edc.



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