Passwords are a necessary evil. They’re a pain to create and a struggle to remember – as this comedian hilariously explains. But if you decide to take shortcuts, you make a hacker’s job much, much easier.
Fortunately, I know a few tricks to make the whole thing simpler. Before I get to that, though, it’s good to refresh your memory on a few ground rules for creating strong passwords.
We’ll start with the most basic rule:
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.
Obviously, you shouldn’t use those or anything like them. The same goes for special dates; names of spouses, children, relatives or pets; or any password using the full name of the service you’re making the password for.