Is Your Password on the List of the 25 Worst Passwords of 2016?

Your BBB® has examined the data breach statistics from 2016. Would it surprise you to learn that in 2016 there were 3000 publically reported data breaches that exposed more than 22 billion records? Can you guess the cause of 63% of the data breaches? Weak, Default, or Stolen Passwords!

KeeperSecurity, a password management company, analyzed over 10M passwords available on the public web in 2016 and came up with a list of the 25 most common, or in other words—the worst passwords, and here are the Top Ten:

RANK    PASSWORD

1              123456
2              123456789
3              qwerty
4              12345678
5              111111
6              1234567890
7              1234567
8              password
9              123123
10           987654321

Click here to see passwords 11 – 25.

Other facts that KeeperSecurity found in their study:

  • 60% of people use the same password for everything.
  • The average cost of a single data breach is $3.8 million.
  • Nearly 17% of users are safeguarding their accounts with “123456.”
  • Any of the passwords on the top 25 list can be compromised in seconds by dictionary-based cracking tools.

Here are some tips from Keeper Security on how to protect your passwords from being hacked:

  1. Use a variety of characters. Use a variety of numerical, uppercase, lowercase and special characters to have greater protection against a brute force attack.
  2. Avoid dictionary terms. Dictionary cracks guess passwords using lists of common passwords (see left) and then move to the whole dictionary. This is typically much faster than a brute force attack because there are far fewer options.
  3. Use a password manager. Weak passwords are common because strong passwords are difficult to remember. Password managers…make it easy to generate strong, unique passwords and help simplify secure password management.”

More tips from BBB:

  1. Make passwords long and strong. Don’t use a single word; try a phrase or a jumble of words that only means something to you. Mix upper and lower case letters, add numbers in random places, add a symbol. Don’t create passwords based on personal information that can be easily accessed or guessed, such as your mother’s maiden name or your dog’s name
  2. Use unique passwords for every account. Don’t use the same password for every account, even though it may be convenient and easier to remember
  3. Secure your passwords. Keep a written list of passwords in a safe place, not on or near your computer or smart phone. Consider sharing the location of your passwords with one trusted individual, in case of emergency. Never share your passwords with friends, and especially not with someone who contacts you (scammers often pose as a bank, IRS agent, etc.)
  4. Password-protect your devices. Make sure your smart phone, lap top and tablet have “long and strong” passwords to access the home screen. Adjust the settings so the devices switch to lock mode after a minute or two without input.
  5. Change your passwords regularly. Yes, it’s a pain to change and then remember all your passwords, but it’s one of the best ways to keep your private information safe. Consider doing so every six months in April (Digital Spring Cleaning) and October (National Cyber Security Awareness Month). Or celebrate World Password Day (May 5) by upping your password game!

More tips from StaySafeOnline.com:

  1. Lock Down Your Login: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as biometrics, security keys or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking and social media.
  2. Make your password a sentence: A strong password is a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. Focus on positive sentences or phrases that you like to think about and are easy to remember (for example, “I love country music.”). On many sites, you can even use spaces!
  3. Unique account, unique password: Having separate passwords for every account helps to thwart cybercriminals. At a minimum, separate your work and personal accounts and make sure that your critical accounts have the strongest passwords.
  4. Write it down and keep it safe: Everyone can forget a password. Keep a list that’s stored in a safe, secure place away from your computer. You can alternatively use a service like a password manager to keep track of your passwords.”

For more information you can trust, visit bbb.org/evansville.

About Jackie 246 Articles
Jackie is the Operations and Education Foundation Assistant with the BBB. She assists consumers with business inquiries, and does presentations to senior groups and high school students. She is a regular contributor to the blog.

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