A recent study of more than five million leaked passwords found the worst passwords of 2017. According to Morgan Slain, CEO of a security company called SplashData, hackers have had much success trying passwords related to pop culture and sports to break into online accounts. “They know many people are using those easy-to-remember words.”
For example, “starwars” ranked #16 on the list of worst passwords in 2017, due to Star Wars: The Last Jedi out in theaters. The password “starwars” ranked as more hacked even than “passw0rd” and “hello.” “123456” ranked as the absolute worst password of the year, with “password” taking second place. New passwords to make the list from last year include “123456789” (#6) and “letmein” (#7).
SplashData found that 3% of people used the #1 worst password on the list, and almost 10% have used at least one of the top 25 worst passwords.
For stronger passwords that aren’t impossible to remember, try using a passphrase. Choose a longer phrase for your password and modify it with a few special characters or numbers.
Using two-factor authentication is another way to greatly improve the security of your accounts and information. Most sites offer an additional layer beyond a password to log in, where you can get a text message with a code or confirmation through an authenticator app to verify your identity.
Create different passwords for each site. If hackers get a password for one set of credentials, they will try them across other sites and services. One easy trick is to add a simple word or number at the end of the password related to the site you’re using it for. For example, you can think of a longer passphrase to use for most of your sites. Then, add a short signifier at the end of the passphrase depending on the account. For example, a Google password could be a long passphrase with “google” at the end, or “G2.” This way, you only have to remember one long passphrase while creating a unique one for each site.
Our security team also recommends SASSpass as a password authenticator app. It’s a free way to create two-factor authentication for your accounts. If you are looking to to save your passwords securely in one place, check out the free KeePass app. Protect yourself from the hackers in 2018!