What is your favorite password? What passwords are you using?
What do you think the most popular password is? – That’s right – “password“!
People continue using passwords like “123456”, computer keyboard letters like “qwerty”, and “password1″.
The easiest way hackers get into computers is by just guessing a password.
Hackers use free online programs that are available that put different “words” commonly used into password fields on forms – such as slang terms, common misspellings, words spelled backwards, etc.
Studies have found that 1% of people use “123456”, and that 5% of passwords are a variation of the word “password,”
Commonly used passwords include “111111”, “abc123″, and “princess”.
One study found that 31% of identity theft victims were using the same passwords for email, social media, banking etc.
Verizon found that hackers may be inside a computer network for months or years before being discovered.
- Hackers may figure out Security Question information (asked on online banking forms,etc.) from things you put in a Social media profile – such as name of spouse, kids, pets.
- So, a trick is to use fictitious(bogus) info for the Security Questions, or to put fake names in Social Media profiles (Facebook,etc.) for your family members, pets, etc. That way the two information sources don’t match up.
- Limit the personal info you give out, such as your address, date of birth, family information, etc.
- Check the privacy settings on social networks. Don’t share your information with 3rd parties. Don’t accept “friend requests” from people you don’t know.
- Don’t share a password with anyone.
- Don’t enter passwords into an unsecure Wi-Fi connection at a public place. Also, public computers may have malware (viruses) on the computer that can steal your password
- Make sure no one watches you enter a password.
- Always log off, especially if using a public computer, wireless network, or laptop.
- Use security software to avoid keystroke logging.
- Don’t use computer keyboard letters, such as “qwerty” or “asdfg”.
- A better choice would be to use your keyboard to make a shape – such as “3edcft6” for a “V” shape.
- Use a different password for each account you have.
- Change passwords periodically. Don’t reuse an old password.
- A strong password should be at least 8 characters, and a combination of upper and lower case letters, mixed with numbers and symbols.
- Use password strength analyzers if they are available.
- An ideal password is easy to remember and hard to guess.
- One idea is to use the first letter of the words in the title of a particular book or favorite song.
- Another idea is to use number/letter/symbol combos that you will remember – 2b means “to be”, etc.