Do You Have a Weak Password?
Two million passwords were recently stolen because of 'dumb' and 'useless' logins. How to not fall victim.
A cybersecurity firm recently said that more than 2 million accounts for web services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter were stolen. Most of these passwords were ridiculously simple, such as "123456", "1" and even "password."
Graham Cluley, an independent security expert, said it's unfortunately all too common and "People are using very dumb passwords. They are totally useless."
How to create stronger passwords
Don't feel too bad if you happen to use one of these. USA Today put together a useful list to keep those hackers away.
1. The more complicated, the better. Annoying but you want a long alphanumeric string (6-8 characters) with mixed symbols and random capitalizations thrown in.
2. Consider phrases. USA Today writes, "passwords don't have to be just one word. For example, 'the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog' could become TqBFjOTld or tqBfJ0T1D."
3. Use more than one password. You're just making it easier for hackers to breach ALL your accounts if you use only a handful of passwords. Yes, it's hard to remember them, but there are password services on the web or you can just jot them down and keep them in a safe place.
4. Consider linking your smartphone. Facebook, Google and Twitter all offer this service. These sites can send a text to your phone that you must type into your account whenever you log in from an unsecured or unfamiliar server.
According to tech site Ars Technica, hackers are using new technologies to crack passwords but know too well that passwords are getting much easier, especially since the web is such a big part of our lives. "The average Web user maintains 25 separate accounts but uses just 6.5 passwords to protect them, according to a landmark study from 2007."
Stop memorizing your passwords