When it comes to being a victim of cyberscams, a lot of it comes down to passwords, passwords, and more passwords. Obviously, not clicking on a malicious attachment, website, or ad plays a factor too.
But many of those scams are in fact looking for your password and other personal information so they can exploit your identity to make money. And hackers know the most common passwords people use.
Let’s take a look at popular 2017 passwords.
What not to use
Things like sports teams, movies, or popular culture terms are often used because they are easy to remember. However, they are easy for hackers to guess, too. Don’t use characters that are near each other like qazxsw or 1q2w3e, even though they look complicated (they aren’t).
If you have a bunch of Starwars trinkets on your desk, don’t use it for your password! It’s more common than you think for people to reference something around them when making a password.
Family names are a bad idea too. If someone is doing some digging, they will easily find the names of your family members, even kids, pretty quickly.
Worst of 2017
Totally uncreative, and just asking to be hacked:
- 123456 7. letmein. 13. monkey
- password 8. 1234567 14. login
- 12345678. 9. football 15. abc123
- qwerty 10. iloveyou 16. starwars
- 12345 11. admin 17. 123123
- 123456789 12. welcome 18. dragon
Honorable mentions: master, passw0rd, andrea, ferrari, trustno1, yankees, michelle, robert, phoenix, ginger, rangers, hockey, killer, banana.
Best password practices
The rules have changed, you no longer are advised to have a crazy password like this, :Z2wN`[Drm-6,p3(. Researchers found that people think those are too hard to memorize so they go with something simple like “password” instead.
The new rules, use a long phrase that you can remember. Something like all the names of your pets from growing up or the names of all the streets you drive on to get to work.
Still use upper and lower case letters and a special character. It could be something like “ArizonaGolfisnumber1!”.
You don’t need to change your password or phrase as much. Only do it if there is a security risk. And make sure you don’t use the same password for everything. If one gets hacked, then all your accounts are compromised.
7 steps for crafting the perfect password
Your password can ruin your life. I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true. If someone figures out the password to your email, you’re in trouble. Social media? Even worse. Your bank? Catastrophic. Here are 7 steps to creating the best password.