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Want To Avoid A Hack? Start With Your Password

Security application organization SplashData evaluated more than five million leaked passwords shared on the Internet to create its list of the top 100 easiest-to-guess passwords of 2018. The organization found that many individuals continue to use the same easy-to-hack passwords.

At number one on its list was "123456," which also took the top spot in 2017. The password "password" kept its position at number two. Other common insecure passwords that remained on the top 25 worst passwords list, also remaining from 2017, include qwerty, admin, iloveyou, welcome, abc123, 123123, football, 123123, monkey, and 12345, 1234567, 12345678, and 123456789.

New to the top 25 list this year were 111111, sunshine, princess, 666666, 654321, charlie, aa123456, password1, qwerty123, and !@#$%^&*. "Worst password of 2018? Survey says '123456'" chicago.suntimes.com (Dec. 15, 2018).


Commentary

Online criminals have software that can, in seconds, try all common number sequences and words in the dictionary in any language. To avoid becoming the victim of a “dictionary attack,” do not make your password a word, even an uncommon word.

Your personal information is also easy for hackers to discover through online searches. Avoid using your birthday, SSN, address, or telephone number, or the names of your family members, pets, friends, coworkers, or fantasy characters in your passwords.

You should also avoid the following when creating your passwords: computer terms or company names; common letter or number patterns including “qwerty,” “12321,” and “zyxwvuts;” names of places; and any of the above spelled backwards or with a number before or after.

A strong password has at least 12 characters and contains uppercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

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