If you use the same password for all your accounts, this is for you.
“[As] soon as somebody gets one of your passwords, and if you keep reusing that password for other things you’ve basically opened the vault, you have a bulls-eye on your back,” said Dr. Steven Mark Sachs, who is a Professor of Computer Operations Office Technology at Los Angeles Valley College, according to a report by KTLA.
Making a password that’s easy for you to remember means it’s easier for hackers to guess it. According to the report, some of the most common codes are “123456,” “monkey,” “superman,” “54321,” “password,” “i love you.”
Sachs says there is an algorithm you can learn to follow that will keep your passwords air tight.
- Have a basic golden rule
- Identify each company (account) with its own calling card
- Tack on a team of accompanying players (special characters, upper and lower case letters that you can remember).
Chances are, passwords used by you or someone you know are on the list of the worst passwords for the past year.
SplashData, a company that markets password managers for online devices, publishes an annual list of the 25 most common passwords found online.
Their frequent use is what makes them the worst passwords, because they increase the risk for being hacked or having your identity stolen.
“Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData.
Don’t be fooled into thinking a combo of letters and numbers automatically makes you safer, either.
“As more websites require stronger passwords or combinations of letters and numbers, longer keyboard patterns are becoming common passwords, and they are still not secure,” Slain said.
Swear words and phrases, hobbies, famous athletes, car brands and movie titles all made the list of the top 100 most commonly used passwords.
SplashData experts say you should also avoid using a favorite sport or team as your password, don’t use your birthday or your birth year, and don’t use your name or a child’s name, either. It’s important to avoid patterns such as sequences of letters or numbers, or keys that appear in a row on the keyboard.
What should you do?
“Use passwords of eight characters or more, with mixed types of characters,” say the pros at SplashData, and “Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.”