By now you probably know it’s not a good idea to use the numbers “123456” as a password for your online accounts.
But did you know “sunshine” is just as bad – and “qwerty” and “shadow” are even worse?
Password protection is on everyone’s mind following a string of massive data breaches that rocked the cyber-world.
One of the more disturbing incidents happened in September, when a Google Gmail hack compromised 5 million user accounts. Gmail users worldwide were surprised – to say the least – to log onto sites like this one and find their passwords openly exposed to the public.
What made this attack notable was that the bad guys did not target Google directly. Instead, they hacked into other sites where users had logged in with their Gmail addresses. As a result, the hackers wound up with an unexpected two-fer: personal information from the hacked sites plus an enormous cache of Gmail passwords.
And thus a new threat was added to the growing list of cyber-risks: downstream exposure where a password for Site A is stolen in a hack of Site B.
25 Passwords to Avoid
Here is Mashable’s list of the 25 worst online passwords.
Tips for Protecting Your Password
- Use different passwords for different online accounts
- Change your passwords periodically
- Choose long passwords that combine special characters and numbers.
- Use a password manager to keep track of your accounts
- Opt for two-factor authentication whenever it is offered
- Keep your computer up to date
- Keep track of your portable devices
- Don’t loan your devices to anyone you don’t know and trust
Do you have a password horror story? Or maybe you have some additional safety tips? Send us a comment.
- Mashable http://mashable.com/2014/09/10/5-million-gmail-passwords-leak/
- Mashable http://mashable.com/2014/01/22/worst-passwords-2013/
- Is leaked? https://isleaked.com/results/en
Jay Reeves a/k/a The Risk Man has practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Formerly he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. Contact him at 919-619-2441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.