Will people never learn? In this inter-connected, cloud-based digital world, we need passwords for just about everything. And because those passwords – and the identity theft that’s possible with them – can be lucrative, hackers are constantly trying to get hold of them.
Still, people are using the simplest, frankly dumbest passwords imaginable. Keeper, a password management company has released its list of the 25 most popular passwords. It’s information they’ve gleamed from analysing over 10 million passwords that were made public through large-scale data breaches in 2016.
The list includes far too many obvious sequential passwords – with 123456, 1234567, 12345678, 123456789 and 1234567890 all featuring within the top ten. According to Keeper, these insecure passwords account for 50% of the passwords leaked.
Here’s the list:
Firstly, if you happen to use any of those passwords for anything, it’s probably best that you change your passwords immediately, preferably to something significantly more secure. You’ll probably also want to enable two-factor authentication on whichever services you use allow for it – that means a digital attacker would need your passwords and physical access to your phone.
Use a variety of characters: Use a variety of numerical, uppercase, lowercase and special characters to have greater protection against a brute force attack.
Avoid dictionary terms: Dictionary cracks guess passwords using lists of common passwords (see left) and then move to the whole dictionary. This is typically much faster than a brute force attack because there are far fewer options.
Lastly, make use of a strong password generator and storer – something much like the very company behind this information, Keeper. There are other services, like KeePass, LastPass and more that’ll do the remembering for you.