Password manager app maker SplashData released it’s annual report on the worst passwords of the year, and despite all the hype cybercrime is getting even in mainstream media, it seems that many, many people still don’t take passwords seriously. For better or worse, passwords are one of the few security measures we have in technology that stands between us and the cyber outlaws, but passwords like “123456” – the most popular password of 2013 – are the equivalent of painting a big red target on yourself. “123456” unseated the defending, 2-year champ “password” which fell to second place.
What this means for you:
Unless you have a better means of security such as biometric scanners or 2-factor devices, passwords are a fact of digital life, and if you value anything of your digital life, you should use a strong password and not something that is easy to type. It doesn’t matter that you use strong passwords where it matters – security is only as strong as the weakest password, and just like water, hackers will take advantage of any weak spot to flood into your life. If anything, read through this list of bad passwords and use them as a guide of how NOT to secure your technology. Better yet, make sure your favorite password isn’t on that list, because it will only be a matter of time before you find yourself (and possibly others around you) compromised.
Curious about how strong your password is? Be careful of visiting just any “password strength meter” website – double check the domain, and look for someone you trust. Here are two reputable sites. If you’ve been paying attention, you already know to roll-over and check where these links lead before clicking on them:
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net