Millions of passwords are hacked every day. If you don't want yours to be among them, take note of these tips from PCWorld and go change them. Select a unique sequence of letters, words, or characters, something no one else will guess, and keep your data safe.
Five Reasons Why You've Chosen the Wrong Passwords (And Need to Change Them)
You have loads of passwords and are happy they are good enough to keep your personal data safe. Still, a tiny part of you has reservations. You wonder whether you could have made better choices. Then again, who would want to steal your information, anyway? It's not as though you're a prime target. Think again. Everyday people lose valuable information to hackers. Here are five reasons your passwords are not as foolproof as you think.
1) Your Password is the Name of Your Pet
Come on, really? Everyone knows it's a bad idea to select your pet's name as a password, or do they? In truth, you're not alone. Plenty of people consider "Mr. Fluffy" or whatever they call their dog, cat, or gerbil an ideal password. After all, no one dodgy will ever figure that out.
Hang on a minute, though, do you call "Mr. Fluffy" in from the garden or post tweets about his antics? Enough said.
2) You Chose 123456
Number sequences, especially those that start with one, are an easy guess. A few tries and most hackers with a brain will be able to retrieve your data. People often choose numbers because they are easy to remember. Unsurprisingly, they are also easy to uncover.
Avoid your birthdate too, or that of your spouse or parents. It’s easy to unearth such data. Also, steer clear of special event dates like when you purchased your home or got married.
3) Your Password is Password
"Password," "apassword4u," or anything remotely similar is a bad choice. You might as well use "grabmydata" if you're prepared to give up your privacy so easily.
Oh, and "drowssap"--see what was done there? Although it’s an improvement, it’s almost as bad. What about adding "abc" to "123?" Is that helpful? Yes, but only for hackers.
4) Your Password is Full of Sunshine
Don't you just love the sun? Plus, you've got a sunny disposition, so it makes sense to use the word sunshine as part of your password. Just typing it makes you feel good. You'll be upset, however, when hackers figure out you not-so-secret word. Sunshine is so popular it's always worth a try when you're a computer hacker making an educated guess.
5) You Think "letmein" is a Good Idea
"Trustme," "letmein," and "mysafeword" are highly guessable passwords. Even if you add a digit, hackers will not find getting your data a challenge. Skip any word relating to safety or data.
For other questions regarding good password hygiene, or additional tips regarding the security of your data, contact Bit by Bit at firstname.lastname@example.org