password

AH Primetime: Worst Passwords & Tips To Create Stronger Ones

October 20, 2015 - Written By Diego Macias

Online security is a crucial concern and currently, one of the hot topics in the tech world. Which is not surprising as we store all sorts of personal data in many of our devices which ranges from photos to banking information. Plus, email or cloud services store a lot of data from our devices as well. While there are some measures to make them more secure such as fingerprint recognition or two-factor authentication, we still rely heavily on passwords. The group behind TeamsID, which is dedicated to managing passwords for groups, has shared some information regarding passwords to help us make sure we are using ones which are more secure. Apparently, people spend over 11 hours online every day and most of the sites they visit are secured with only a single password, which might be prone to hacking.

According to TeamsID, 10,000 of the most commonly used passwords can access 98 percent of all accounts. These passwords provide a very low level of security and some of them include ascending sequences of numbers like 1234, 12345, 12456, 12345678 and 123456789. Some words that are also very commonly used are “password”, “qwerty”, “baseball”, “dragon” and “football”, none of which provide much security. Users in the UK have 26 accounts on average and they use a maximum of 5 passwords to access all of those sites. Since services like the Sony Playstation Network, Yahoo! Mail, Apple’s iCloud and Gmail have been hacked (considering these are companies who are supposed to have excellent security levels), this is a serious issue for the rest of us.

Some tips to create a more secure password include not using words that can be guessed by anyone who visits your social media accounts such as people’s names or places, change your passwords regularly and don’t use the same password for various accounts. In order to make passwords seem random and without patterns, use combinations of words or even create a nonexistent word composed of the first letters of a word and the last letters of another word, such as “passphrase” (please don’t use that example). Finally, password managers can be great tools for making your accounts more secure as they can handle a bunch of passwords that you don’t need to remember and they can even generate strong random passwords for each of your accounts. In the meantime, you can check out this infographic which was put together on the subject by TeamsID.

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