Small Business IT Tips

Is 123456 or Password Your Password?

Did your eyebrows shoot up with surprise at the possibility? Or are you chuckling, thinking that’s a ridiculous idea? If so, then you haven’t heard that these are still two of the most popular passwords. Yes, today—in 2016—the most popular passwords still include password, 123456, qwerty, 111111, and letmein. Every year this is reported and every year these super easy to hack passwords are on the list of most common passwords. People have heard that this isn’t a great idea—so recently they’ve been mixing it up by also using passw0rd, qwertyiop, and and login. Can we just say, “SIGH.” These might be new to the list, but they are also very easy to hack. In case you’re interested, here’s the list of the most popular passwords.

More people today are more concerned about computer security and aware that they need to take steps to keep their data safe. They know about firewalls, and anti-virus protection. They are generally aware that opening email attachments from strangers isn’t a good idea.

But we still read stories regularly in the news about businesses suffering data loss and huge breaches in network security, and surprisingly one of the most common weak points continues to be the use of weak passwords.

Data loss can occur due to only one weak spot so choosing strong passwords really is one of the best ways to eliminate security problems. Of course they aren’t the only thing necessary for thorough data security, but you might be surprised by how many security issues could be prevented by the uniform use of strong passwords.

There are a number of ways passwords are hacked—guessing is one of the most common and is why you should never use personal information, like your birthday, as part of your password.

If you have passwords that use common words or personal information, it’s vital that you upgrade them to something stronger as soon as possible. Yes, it’s a nuisance and no one likes the hassle of changing and remembering passwords, especially since different websites require different types — for example, some require special characters, while others won’t allow special characters. It’s aggravating, but taking the trouble to create strong passwords is a must.

Some tips for creating strong passwords include:

Always make your password at least eight characters long, and even longer is better.

Use letters, numbers, special characters and upper and lower case. But don’t use upper case at the beginning of the password.

Don’t use personal information and don’t use the same password everywhere. In fact, it’s important to create a unique password for every login. Yes, we know it’s a hassle, but it’s a mild annoyance compared to the much more damaging and stressful turmoil of having your data hacked.

And please if you’re one of the people using “1234567” or “password,” please, please, change your passwords today!

By Skynet Innovations Sep 21, 2016