Password Dos and Don’ts

We all know that keeping complex passwords can help keep cyber criminals away from our personally identifiable information online. But are we taking this advice seriously? The latest findings may surprise you!

The most common password in 2013? 123456!

That’s according to SplashData – a password management company that compiles an annual report of users’ most common passwords, gathered by data posted by hackers.

The other top passwords for 2013 included “password,” “abc123” and “111111.”

While these passwords are easy to draft and remember, they are also easy to guess, leaving your online accounts vulnerable to a data breach. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:

Password DON’Ts

While it may seem obvious to some, it clearly isn’t to the majority:

  • Don’t use a string of consecutive numbers or letters, especially starting with “1” or “a”
  • Don’t include the name of the application (i.e., adobe123)
  • Don’t use your name, address or company information
  • Don’t save your passwords within a document on your computer
  • If the word seems like something your kindergartener could guess – keep thinking!

Password DOs:

  • Do vary it up, using a different password for each online account
  • Do get complicated, with randomized numbers to make things complicated for cyber criminals
  • Do change your passwords every few months
  • Do stay off the list. If it’s on the list of common passwords above, don’t use it for your password!
  • Capital letters, symbols, underscores, oh my! Adding in these extra elements can help make any password complex

Stay smart about online safety and how to protect your information from all different types of identity theft.