SplashData recently published a report showing the 25 most-used passwords of 2012. Check them out below to make sure yours isn’t on the list! Plus see my tips for increasing password security without additional stress.
Did you see your password above? If your password is here or something approximately resembling it. I recommend you think about changing it the very first opportunity you have.
I am surprised that despite stories of credit card fraud, identity theft, computers hacked, lives ruined, data destroyed etc the average person would be careful about password security. That is an incorrect assumption. It seems from my day to day dealings with my customers, who are spread across 10 different countries, that it is better to have something simple so it is easy to remember than to worry about being hacked.
Does it sound familiar? OK so if you are nodding your head right now, you need to make a change. Fixing your password problem is not difficult. You just need to follow a couple of steps in creation of a secure password.
There are a couple of different methods below. I recommend you use all of them to increase security.
long phrases with numbers added
If your password is long and contains a few random numbers in it. This is probably easier to remember than a jumbled mix of symbols and characters.
pick a phrase that means something but is obscure . i.e.
when you wish upon a star
OK now just add / replace the randoms and fill in the gaps.
the phrase above becomes :
(the above could be simplified a little and still be effective)
Another password method is to use less characters but be more cryptic.
like : #w7+TqgU=h,I This is very secure but is really hard to type without making mistakes and is not easy to remember.
I sometimes like to use numbers with letters and other chars thrown in
Here is one scenario:
You were born in 1985
your postcode is 3975
phone # contains 7439
Your dogs names are charlie and spoopy
so my password might be :
397510957439SC$$#! (notice the other chars added at the end for good measure)
Personally, I am really good at remembering numbers but not names so the above method suits me.
If you have lots of passwords like most of us do these days, don’t fall into the trap of having the same password for multiple logins. use different ones for each different service.
Never use the same password for a social network as you would for a high security login (i.e. Paypal and Linkedin)
I subscribe to a service called Lastpass which I could not do without these days (I have no affiliation) you should check it out. I highly recommend it to increase your security tenfold without hassle. You can use Lastpass absolutely free . But given the value of the program to me , I subscribed to the Premium edition for a whopping $12 per year. Lastpass will also work on computers and lots of other devices.
These are just a couple of methods – I am sure there are 100 other valid methods and I want to hear about them. I would be really interested to carry on the discussion – do you have any tips? Join the conversation in the comments at the bottom of this post.