The perils of dodgy passwords and preventative measuresLike death and taxation, password creation is inevitable. A lot of our digital life circles around multifarious passwords for our social media sites, online banking services, or admin rights to a website. A good password can take at least thousands or tens of thousands of years to crack. Perhaps more, light years maybe.
Even with social media being an everyday thing for most people, choosing cryptic passwords remain a sore point. Some go for prosaic names and numbers which, in spite of being easy to remember, are also memorable enough for hackers. So much so that for the fifth year running, SplashData has announced its list of The 25 Worst Passwords. The Top Ten worst entries are of little surprise.
Pick of the Pap Passwords
Below the Top Ten there was a few humdingers that were bubbling under. With the success of its seventh instalment, The Force Awakens, ‘starwars’ was a new entry at Number 25. ‘Princess’ – again due to the Star Wars influence instead of the British Leyland wedge shaped hatchback car, another new entry at 21. This is below the 22nd entry, which is ‘qwertyuiop’. The mother of all ‘lets-work-our-way-along-the-keyboard’ was ‘1qaz2wsx’.
This year’s chart saw nine new entries with the highest climber being ‘football’, which went up three places from 10 to 7. ‘Dragon’, previously in the Top Ten last year fell to 16, falling seven places (the biggest fall).
Top Ten Worst Passwords (2015)
Changes on last year’s position seen in parenthesis.
- 123456 (NC).
- password (NC).
- 12345678 (+1).
- qwerty (+1).
- 12345 (-2).
- 123456789 (NC).
- football (+3).
- 1234 (-1).
- 1234567 (+2).
- baseball (-2).
Covering Your Tracks
We at the Manchester SEO Company favour having a variety of different passwords for your social media accounts and other important login details. Passwords should be cryptic yet memorable and involve a mix of symbols, numbers and uppercase letters. We recommend:
- Downloading or purchasing a password manager program or app. One example is RoboForm.
- Using different passwords for each of your social media accounts and other important sites.
- Checking your possible password on the How Secure Is My Password? website.
- Making sure that all passwords have at least 12 characters minimum, with a wide range of characters including uppercase as well as lowercase text, currency signs and punctuation marks.
- Creating future passwords via an online password generator. This will randomly create a cast iron password.
- Changing your passwords every year.
- Consider applying a mnemonic to your newly created password.
- Remember to log off each time you have finished with your social media account, content management system login session, or any e-commerce facilities.
Password Management: Be Careful Out There…
Please keep in mind that login details are just as personal as your physical belongings. A badly thought out username and password is advantageous to hackers, in the sense that your social networking accounts could be hacked. Or you could lose important items such as image files from, for example, and Adobe Creative Cloud account, and other intellectual property.
It makes sense to add a Password Manager program to your PC or similar app to your devices. Plus it needn’t cost the Earth. Especially if you need to remember your details for social networking sites, cloud access points (i.e. Google Drive or Dropbox) and email accounts as well as your online banking details.
Manchester SEO Company, 20 January 2016.