Think your password is fine? You'd better check this list to be sure.
Password management app maker SplashData has released their list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011. These are the passwords that get hacked the most frequently, based on SplashData's study of millions of stolen passwords that have been posted online by hackers.
Many of the worst offenders are sequential numbers ("123456") or sequential keyboard keys ("qwerty") or password-related words like "password" or "letmein".
According to SplashData CEO Morgan Slain, who was quoted on Mashable, "Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft."
People's hesitance to make complicated passwords is understandable considering the sheer number of passwords the average person has--but that doesn't make it alright. A 2007 study found that the average person had 25 passwords and used 8 of them per day. That number has almost certainly increased. However, what's more annoying than having to remember Qw!cK@sAbunN!3 is having your identity stolen. In 2010, the FTC received 1.3 million complaints of fraud or identity theft.
So how can you make your passwords better? Use a variety of letters, numbers and symbols. Change them every six months. Don't use the same one for every account, and know that even a slight variation makes a difference. Avoid using real words. According to Daily Finance, hackers use "dictionary attacks" that make it easy for them to crack passwords that are words or sequential numbers. And finally, don't use any of these--SlashData's 25 worst passwords of the year:
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