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Security & privacy

Are you on the password “worst list”?

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:

  1. 123456                         7. letmein.             13. monkey
  2. password                     8. 1234567            14. login
  3. 12345678.                    9. football              15. abc123
  4. qwerty                        10. iloveyou             16. starwars
  5. 12345                         11. admin                17. 123123
  6. 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. 

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