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Is Your Password Safe?

November 18, 2011

John Neumann For RedOrbit

Let me see if I can hack my way into your Facebook account. You have probably posted your email address that you use for everything on the profile page, or in an email sent to me with dozens of other addresses listed in the forward, so let´s suppose that is your log-in ID.

Now for a password, could it be, “password”? How about “123456” or “qwerty”? Are we getting close? Have you ever changed your password?

Facebook last month admitted that hackers are breaking into hundreds of thousands of Facebook accounts every day. With more than a 1 billion logins to the social network every 24 hours, 600,000 are estimated to be impostors.

That number is the first time that Facebook has revealed how often it is bombarded by hackers daily, writes Emma Barnett, Digital Media Editor for the Telegraph.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at computer security firm Sophos, says volume of simple hacking attempts is a “big concern” and that people need to put more thought into choosing their passwords across the web. He also relays that thirty percent of people online use the same passwords across all of their digital accounts, making easy pickings for even the most basic of hackers to affect your online life.

Of course Facebook is not the only site with hackers knocking on the door looking for a way inside. Web users need to make sure that their passwords across email, banking and other digital services more complicated in order to avoid their personal information being compromised.

Morgan Slain, SplashData´s chief executive urges everyone to give strong consideration to their online security, “Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords. 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.”

Morgan Slain, SplashData´s chief executive urged any consumers or businesses using a password featured on the ℠worst list´ below to change them immediately, reports Sheryl Nance-Nash from the Daily Finance.

Top 25 Most Unsecure Passwords

1. password
2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

Slain suggests these considerations when choosing a password. Vary different types of characters in your passwords; include numbers, letters and special characters when possible. Choose passwords of eight characters or more.

Separate short words with spaces or underscores and don´t use the same password and username combination for multiple websites. An online password manager can be very helpful to keep track of your ever-growing number of online accounts.

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Source: John Neumann For RedOrbit



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