We all know that our passwords are quite literally the keys to keeping ourselves safe online. And yet, you might be surprised at how many people still use passwords that are far too easy to guess or hack. Is that because they aren’t being careful enough, or because they truly don’t know how to create secure passwords?

For instance, did John Podesta not consider the possible ramifications of using “password” as his password? Or did he simply not know how common that one is, and that it’s one of the first that hackers try? Either way, it certainly led to an embarrassing scandal.

Not only is “password” commonly used, but so are its variations like “passw0rd” and “password1”. Nope, we’re sorry to tell you that changing one symbol or adding a numeral still isn’t good enough! Another common mistake is using the password, “123456”, “qwerty”, or something similar. Avoid sequential letters and numbers; yes, they’re easy to remember, but hackers know people are doing this!

And, for some reason, passwords themed after Star Wars are still quite common. Avoid any popular culture references, no matter how excited you are about the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.

Over ten percent of people are still using the top 25 most common passwords, according to SplashData. So hackers will continue to try these when attempting to crack your email, social media account, or network. If they succeed one out of every ten times, they consider this a successful enough method to continue using it.

From a business perspective, it makes sense to not only create strong passwords for your own accounts and network, but to remind your employees of these rules as well:

  • Passwords should contain at least 8 characters
  • Use a combination of capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
  • Use a unique password for each account
  • Use a secure password manager if you need help storing and remembering them

Remember, gaining access to just one computer on your network, or just one employee email account, can still allow hackers to create a lot of havoc within your organization. So remind your employees of the above rules, and review them often. If you have any further questions about network security, please give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH.