I read today that approximately 1 out of every 9 people uses at least one password that sucks. And by sucks I mean a password on the list of the top 500 worst passwords of all time. In our life we have so many passwords to remember including one for our email, our online banking, our ATM password, our paypal account, our twitter. So the question is, are you being smart about your password use? Are you using a good password or one of the suck list?
Here are the top 50 worst passwords of all time
(Source: Perfect Passwords, Mark Burnett 2005).
We all know we need to use better passwords but with so many that we have to keep up with, how can we do it? A friend of mine had a great idea. What he did was, he bought a Rolodex. You know, the ones office people used years ago to keep track of their contacts. He then made an entry for every website or thing he had a password for. For example, Facebook he would file under F. He wrote down Facebook at top to know what the site was, then his username, password and associated email address for that account.
He is able to use more complicated passwords now because he doesn’t have to sit there and try and remember them. If he needs to remember a password he just looks it up in his nifty little Rolodex. WORD OF WARNING – DO NOT SAVE YOUR PASSWORDS ON YOUR COMPUTER OR IN ANY DIGITAL FORMAT, this includes your computer, your iphone, your laptop, etc. This sort of password filing system should only be done with a physical, non computer type system.
So now what you need to do is start picking some good passwords. How do you do that? Well, a good password should always have both letters and numbers and include a combination of both lower and uppercase letters. A good password should never include any word that is in any dictionary, nor should it include any person’s names. Hackers use programs that check for those things. An example of a decent enough password would be 8&7kEp9Z.
You shouldn’t use the same password on different websites. If you have 10 different accounts that each need a password, use 10 different passwords. Your email account show not have the same password as your twitter. This way if one account gets compromised, the rest of your accounts aren’t automatically at risk.