Avoid using the worst passwords of last year

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Each year technology firms and analysts release information about the worst passwords used on the Internet over the previous 12 months, but each year the same strings of characters make the list.
In spite of all of the warnings, people still use 123456 or the word “password” as their password.
According to splashdata.com, this list was compiled from last year’s breach of Adobe passwords. Some of the patterns noted included the use of the website or application name within the password creation. One example included “photoshop” as a password.
Other offenders included “qwerty”, “abc123” and the newest to make an appearance was “123456789”.
There appears to be a pattern to the weakest passwords, which would be using a string of numbers, the name of the application within the password, or using the phrase “password” as the password.
One of the more ironic weakest passwords was “trustno1”, a nod to the long running television show X-Files. It’s ironic because the phrase didn’t prompt the user to come up with a stronger password if they already had trust issues.
Splashdata included tips to create stronger passwords in their release, such as mixing numerals with letters, using capital letters or creating a password out of a string of short words separated by spaces. However, some websites don’t allow the use of spaces within a password, so you may have to use an underscore as a substitute.
Naturally the use of random characters makes the passwrod more difficult to remember. Splashdata offers a service to help you keep up with your passwords, but this may pose the risk of exposing your newly created passwords to a hacker, who would not only make off with only one, but all of the passwords you just made up.

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