If your password is actually “password,” you are most definitely not alone. The April issue of AARP Bulletin has identified the 25 worst passwords people use.
Some people don't take password security as seriously as they should, leaving them vulnerable to problems like identify theft. That’s why it’s important to keep your passwords hard to hack, but easy to remember.
Despite this, "password" is still the single most popular password used for online accounts. It’s also the most easily hacked by cyber thieves. (Does it even count as hacking when the password's "password"?)
If your method is changing the letter “o” to a zero to mix up your passw0rd, you’re also not alone. That choice came in at #18 on the list of worst passwords.
The top 25 passwords to avoid are:
The Bulletin also offers tips creating a strong password.
- Make it long. One study shows it would take a hacker more than 17,000 years to crack a password that is a combination of 12 letters and numbers. (Good luck remembering it, though.)
- Don’t just stick to letters and numbers. Use symbols and underscores in your passwords, as well as mixing up upper- and lower-case letters.
- Finesse your favorites. It’s OK to base your passwords on your favorite foods or TV shows. But it’s important to use symbols and different characters to mix it up.
- Whatever you choose, use different passwords to access online financial accounts, email, social networking, and even to post comments on websites. Consider changing them every 90 days or so.