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Top Ten Passwords?

I was reading a past issue of PC Mag (May 2007) and found…

10 Most Common Passwords

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. qwerty
  4. abc123
  5. letmein
  6. monkey
  7. myspace1
  8. password1
  9. blink182
  10. (your first name)

Now I think that this list has been circulating the web for some time. Do you really think that one of the top ten would still be “blink182”?

Anyway, it got me thinking about password security and I thought I might share some of those thoughts with you.

First a confession, some of my passwords are not that great. Ok – that being said, here are my suggestions to preserve good password protection for your files and online activity.

  1. Don’t make it a real word. Real words are easy to figure out. Most hacking programs can easily run through the dictionary – in several languages.
  2. Don’t make it the name of anyone, or anything – living, dead, friend, foe, animal, mineral or vegetable. Not your best friends name, your old school name, or your favorite food name.
  3. Don’t make it a series of numbers or letters that is easy to type on your keyboard. Don’t leave a password as whatever the default was when you installed the program or set up the account.
  4. Don’t make it the same on multiple accounts or websites.
  5. Never make your online banking password the same as anything else.
  6. Don’t make all of your financial accounts the same password.
  7. Don’t write down your password, but if you do, just write down partials or reminders.
  8. Don’t tell anyone your password, even the IT guy. Just type it in for them if they are working on your machine.
  9. When you tell someone your password (I knew you would) write it down and don’t say it out loud. Show the paper to the person and then destroy the paper.
  10. If you are asked to change your password – don’t just add a number on the end.
  11. Be rationally paranoid. Don’t get lazy. A good dose of fear works wonders.

Well – that does it for the short list. Now, I need to go take some of my own advice.

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