Passwords

December 7, 2011

People are always complaining about having to remember lots of different passwords or that they have forgotten their password.  As a result many people tend to use just one or very few passwords.  Furthermore, the passwords they use are often very simple and therefore not secure and easily cracked.

Now and again I get reports from customers that their email or Facebook account has been hacked.  This may be due to a weak, easily hacked password.

I recently came across a list of the top 25 worst passwords.  I hope that none of your passwords are in the list:

password, 123456, 12345678, qwerty, abc123, monkey, 1234567, letmein, trustno1, dragon, baseball, 111111, iloveyou, master, sunshine, Ashley bailey, passw0rd, shadow, 123123, 654321, superman, qazwsx, Michael, football.  (from fobres.com)

I hope that none of you use passwords like that.  But what do you do to make a password strong?  Well, you should include symbols e.g. @#*&%!, lower case and upper case letters and numbers.  Ideally the letters you use should not make a word.  Let me suggest one:

M*gerbi1&F+d0g

Where do I get that you ask.  Well Marmaduke the gerbil and Fred the dog (no, I haven’t got a gerbil or a dog).  But what I am suggesting is that you should be creative with pets, people, sports etc.  You will still say that is no help when you need to have lots of different password for different accounts.  You can purchase software lockers in which you can store all of your passwords safely, encrypted on your hard drive.  All you then need to remember is just one secure password to get at them all.  Do a Google search for “Password lockers” or “Password Managers”.  You will find some versions you have to buy but there are a number of perfectly good free programs as well.