A Google survey of 2,000 web users discovered that the same passwords are consistently used by individuals. This may be why it’s so easy to hack into someone’s account so often and so easily. What is the main reason? “Easy to remember” passwords are easy to hack.
So what do these “bad passwords” have in common? Here’s a clue: Almost 70 million Americans own a pet.
Yes, Of the Top Ten passwords used by Americans, the number one password used is the name of a favorite pet. So the next time some stranger says “What a cute puppy! What’s its name?” just say “Fido”; unless “Fido” is actually your pet’s name, that is.
The list of the most overused passwords looks like this:
- Pet’s name.
- Significant dates (wedding, anniversary, etc.).
- Birthdays (of the user or close relation).
- Children’s name.
- Other family member’s name.
- Place of birth.
- Favorite holiday.
- Something related to a sports team (“Go Steelers!” or “Packers suck!”)
- Current partner/significant other’s name ( often frequently changed)
And, for the terminally uninventive:
10. The word “password”.
How to avoid the obvious? Use a random password or a password management program to help resist the urge to use “Fido” as a password.
Some other tips:
Use passwords with eight or more characters. (Eight is the general minimum for allowable passwords).
Create a phrase or series of letter that appears to be ”random” but is easy to remember:
Like your friends names: “PaulTedAprilTom”
Adding numbers: “PaulTedAprilTom567”