With internet security becoming a heightened concern, it’s not stopping people from using passwords that are all too easy to crack – the most well-known being “password”. The password management company Keeper Security recently released the most common passwords of 2016 and the results are shocking. The most popular password on the list, making up 17 percent of the 10 million passwords the company analyzed, was “123456”.
Keeper Security assembled the list by using a collection of passwords that were leaked through data breaches throughout 2016. The two most common password-cracking techniques are dictionary cracks and brute force attacks. Dictionary cracks try combinations on known passwords and personal information. This can include birthdays, children or spouse’s names, favorite sports team, and phone numbers. Brute force cracks will typically use machines to compile potential passwords that would not be found in a dictionary. “Machines that can be purchased for less than $1,000 are capable of testing billions of passwords per second,” Keeper Security warns on its website.
To protect yourself against a data breach, consider the following when creating a password:
- Use a unique password for each important account. Use a different password for each of your important accounts, like your email and online banking accounts. Re-using passwords becomes a potential risk. If someone figures out one password, they can quickly gain access to all of you accounts.
- Use a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols in your passwords. Using numbers, symbols and mix of upper and lower-case letters in your password makes it harder for someone to guess your password. For example, an eight-character password with numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters is harder to guess because it has 30,000 times as many possible combinations than an eight-character password with only lower-case letters.
- Don’t use personal information or common words. Create a unique password that’s unrelated to your personal information and uses a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. For example, you can select a random word or phrase and insert letters and numbers into the beginning, middle, and end to make it more difficult to guess.
- Make sure your backup password options are updated. Update your recovery email address regularly so that you can receive emails in case you need to reset your password. Many websites will also give you the option of answering a security question if you forget your password.
- Keep your passwords secure. Don’t leave notes with your passwords to various sites on your computer or desk, where people can easily steal them and use them to compromise your accounts. If you choose to save passwords in a file on your computer, create a name for the file that won’t give it away.
Source: Huffington Post and Keeper Security
To see the full published list of passwords, visit The Most Common Passwords In 2016 Are Truly Terrible and What the Most Common Passwords of 2016 List Reveals