Leave a comment

#1 mistake hackers hope you make

#1 mistake hackers hope you make
photo courtesy of shutterstock

A strong password is a pain to create, remember and type. That's why far too many people settle for passwords that are weaker and easier to remember than they should. But, strong passwords are essential for keeping hackers and snoopers out of your online accounts.

Fortunately, I know a few good tricks to make passwords easier to create and remember. Before I get to that, though, let's refresh your memory on three critical ground rules for creating strong passwords.

1. Don't make the password easy to guess

Whenever there's a big data breach and user passwords are exposed, security companies always make a list of the most common passwords people were using. In fact, they made one for the Adobe data breach that happened at the end of 2013.

The five most common passwords were "123456," "123456789," "password," "adobe123," and "12345678." You can read the full list here. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “Genius!”

Hackers look at these lists, too, and they have computer programs that can guess common passwords, plus millions of other passwords, in minutes. Even passwords you think are "hard" might not be as hard to figure out as you think. If you want an example, see how easily this Microsoft Research site can guess a password from the first few letters.

Next page: More on how easy passwords are to guess
Secrets for cheap airline tickets
Previous Columns

Secrets for cheap airline tickets

Stop advertisers from tracking you on Facebook
Next Columns

Stop advertisers from tracking you on Facebook

View Comments ()