Picking a strong password is vital. Learn how to create a strong password.
Data shows that many people still struggle with passwords and opt for weak, easily guessable ones. Year after year, when lists of the most common passwords are released, 123456, qwerty and password remain on top of the list. If you are guilty of using any of the passwords on the list, you need to change them immediately. However, not only do you need to have strong passwords, you should also never reuse them. Here’s what you need to know about passwords and their security.
List of most common passwords
These passwords are very easy to remember which is why so many people opt for them. However, if they’re easy to remember, they’re easy to guess, which makes accounts with these passwords very hackable. These passwords are the first thing hacker try when trying to illegally access accounts or when executing credential stuffing attacks.
Tips for choosing a password
A strong and secure password is not just important, it’s essential. If you want to protect your accounts, follow the below advice to create a strong password.
What you should NOT do when choosing a password:
- Do not choose a password that is posted publicly or used as an example, such as Password, password or examplepassword;
- Do not reuse passwords, even if they’re passwords you last used years ago;
- Do not use a password that is known to third parties. For example, if someone saw you enter it;
- Do not use a password containing personal information (names, birthdays or dates easily associated with you);
- Do not use keyboard templates (such as qwerty, wasd, zxcvb) or sequential numbers (12345, 09876);
- Do not reveal your passwords to others, and do not enter them when someone’s watching;
- Don’t send passwords via email or messages, and do not say them out loud.
Tips for strong passwords:
- Use a different password for each account. If you reuse passwords, hackers could access all your accounts if they hack just one. For example, if someone hacks your reddit account and you use the same password for Facebook or your email, they could easily access those accounts by trying the same passwords;
- Store your passwords in a secure way. Do not write them on a piece of paper and leave it on your desk. If you do write them down, do not write what they’re for next to them, or at least use some kind of code that only you would understand;
- If you have trouble with remembering passwords and do not want to write them down, use a password manager. However, do research and do not just pick the first option that comes up when you google password manager. Read reviews, find out how it works exactly, etc.
- Password length should be at least 10 characters;
- Passwords should include a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. The more you mix up letters, symbols and numbers, the stronger your password will be, and the harder it will be to hack.
- Avoid using actual words, or use more than one word. Single words are easy to guess, but if you use random words put together, it will be harder to guess;
- If you want to have passwords you can remember, come up with something that would only make sense to you. For example, the first words of 2-4 chapters of your favorite book, plus numbers and symbols mixed in somewhere.