Tips for Better Passwords Tips for Better Passwords

The Keys to a Good Password

February 4, 2016
(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Last summer I went on vacation and wanted to secure the house in my absence. To do this, I got a sticky note and wrote “do not enter” and stuck it on my front door. Satisfied with all of my assets being properly secured, I left for a week out of state. When I returned I couldn’t figure out why my house had been ransacked. They even took my peanut butter!

Does that story sound completely ridiculous? Likely. Are you doing the exact same thing when you pick an insanely easy-to-crack password? You bet.

The folks over at Gizmodo compiled a list of the 25 Most Popular Passwords. In their words, “we’re all such idiots.” SplashData creates this list every year based on stolen passwords made public, then sorts them by popularity.

Before sharing this list, know that if you are using one of these passwords please change it immediately. Like, before you finish reading this page.

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. 12345

Seriously? Seriously.

5 Tips for Better Passwords

  • Mix Letters, Numbers and Characters

    Think of a word or phrase, then mix in crazy letters and characters. That way you’ll be more likely to remember it, but it will be harder to crack by non-you people. For instance if you like football (and many people do because “football” was No. 7 on that stolen password list), consider how you can make that more secure. Maybe “F0ot3@l1”  — notice how the numbers and letters still resemble the original word?

  • Avoid Personal Information

    Sure it is fun to make a password with your kid’s name or your birthday, but any hacker with an Internet connection can find public information and even private information through sites like Facebook.

  • Use Different Passwords for Different Accounts

    Ever wonder why some people are hacked on Facebook, then suddenly their email starts sending out malware? It is likely they use the same password for both Facebook and their email. Now imagine the trouble they could see if they also use that password for sites like PayPal or their bank.

  • Keep Passwords Secure

    Once you’ve made a harder password, don’t leave it out for the world to discover. This includes leaving a sticky note on your monitor with the password written on it. If you must keep track of several passwords and want to create a document, don’t name that document “passwords.” Google recommends considering a password manager if you have difficulty remembering multiple passwords.

  • Consider Using a Random Password Generator

    If you truly want a secure password, it should be random. Simply google “strong password generator” and several sites will offer random password generation. You can select the length and what types of characters to include.

Written by:  |  February 4, 2016