2013 January

Exactly how secure is your password?

Posted by | Internet Safety, Practical Tips | No Comments


Any of them. Have you ever thought of any of your passwords? Are you using the same password for all websites and services?

I’m here once again to talk to you about the security of your information. I’ve already told you a story about the importance of backing up (http://on.fb.me/1f0sHoa). Well, this time I have even better example.

Gizmodo has a published a list of the most popular passwords for 2013 (http://bit.ly/Lvsf6l), based on the “millions of public passwords stolen through the year”. You can get a better insight of where these passwords came from from the link above, and here’s the list from the site:

1. 123456 (Up 1)
2. password (Down 1)
3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
4. qwerty (Up 1)
5. abc123 (Down 1)
6. 123456789 (New)
7. 111111 (Up 2)
8. 1234567 (Up 5)
9. iloveyou (Up 2)
10. adobe123 (New)
11. 123123 (Up 5)
12. Admin (New)
13. 1234567890 (New)
14. letmein (Down 7)
15. photoshop (New)
16. 1234 (New)
17. monkey (Down 11)
18. shadow (Unchanged)
19. sunshine (Down 5)
20. 12345 (New)
21. password1 (Up 4)
22. princess (New)
23. azerty (New)
24. trustno1 (Down 12)
25. 000000 (New)

Is one of your passwords in the list? Perhaps, it’s time to change something. Here are a few good tips on how to choose a more secure password.

1. Choose a combination of letters and numbers – it’s a mantra that every website sticks to these days, you will find this sentence under every password window when you register for one thing or another. So follow it. However, remember to also choose small & capital letters in the password to make it more secure.

2. Use a special character – some websites might not allow you to use special characters in the password, like a “£” or a “&” sign. But sure enough any website will allow you to use “!”. Yes – an exclamation mark! Be happy about your new password – an exclamation mark in your password is an excellent way to add an extra layer of security to it.

3. Use a different password for each website – it might be hard to remember all places you have registered on, but the chances are – if one of your account sis hacked on one of the websites is extremely easy to get all the rest of your profile information everywhere else. So, stay safe. Especially, when choosing a password for the likes of Ebay, PayPal, Amazon, your bank etc.

4. Choose a word that is not associated with the software you’re registering for – or the website. Say you’re choosing your WiFi password. Don’t make it “Broadband123!”. Even in this format it’s easy to hack.

5. Check how fast it would take to hack your password – here’s a link to the website to check how easy it is to hack your password http://howsecureismypassword.net/. You might be surprised.

Do not ever share your password with anyone. If you absolutely need to share you password in some circumstance or the other, and you have to do it over the email – send a picture of it rather than a text format one. Never give you password to anyone over Facebook.

Do you have a good advise on how to choose a good password? And how do you remember passwords for all the websites you have registered for?

Regards

Alex

@MicroPro Computers