TELL YOUR BABYBOOMER parents who chose the “easiest password to remember.” Tell your friend whose ex hacked his email. When it comes to passwords, us tech users are dangerously predictable.
California software firm SplashData published a report of the 25 most common passwords of 2011. The data was compiled from millions of stolen passwords which had been posted online by hackers in the past year. The firm is trying to encourage folks to evade hacking by avoiding these popular passwords.
Top of the list? Unsurprisingly, it’s Password.
111111, Qwerty, 123456, and qazwsx made the list
Michael, Ashley, Superman, (surprisingly) Bailey
Football, Sunshine, Monkey, Baseball, Dragon
Simple letter/number patterns:
Iloveyou, letmein, trustno1
So how can you make passwords more secure? Mixed letters, numbers, and characters are the most secure. You can take a small phrase and put numbers or symbols between words. Something like i_love6cats4 or just5do/it should be tight.
The safest phrase should be uncommon and personal to you. Use the first letter of each word in that funny saying your aunt uses, or a word from another language, typed phonetically in English.
As a fairly paranoid Internet-user, my past passwords have included childhood pets’ nicknames, a street name spelled backwards, and my best friend’s favorite cocktail.
Another error is to use the same password for all your accounts. If you’re prone to forgetting, don’t just use princess1 for online banking and princess2 for Netflix. Companies like Datavault or Roboform offer secure password management applications.