No matter what way you turn your head these days, there’s a high chance you’ll see someone entering a password somewhere, whether it be someone getting cash from an ATM, sending messages through Bluetooth, a person in a coffee shop connecting to a wireless network, or just someone sitting somewhere by a good old fashioned computer hammering away at the keys as they punch in their password. The trouble is the majority of the people you see entering these passwords are all under the illusion they are safe, even when their password is just a good old 123456. So I’ve made this article to show you some of the most commonly used passwords and give you some tips on making your passwords much more secure.
First off, the importance of a strong password online is similar to the difference between life and death, well not quite. As more and more people are now venturing into online banking, online shopping and just regular online activity, it has never been more crucial to have many passwords so your money and identity can’t be stolen by some hacker in a foreign country that can barely speak a sentence of English. I know the amount of information in your head is probably already overflowing and the idea of having to remember not one, but several passwords is probably overwhelming, so make it easy on yourself and use one of the many programs made specifically for remembering passwords.
These programs are mans new best friend, as the amount of usernames, passwords and personal information you can put into them to recall at another point in time is often unlimited. Firefox itself has a built in password bank, so when you enter a password to a new site for the first time it offers to remember the password for future visits. This is great and saves the hassle of having to install another program or manually stretch your brain to remember the password next time you visit the site, but the best part about it would be the master password that controls the memory of all the other passwords. For example, if you had a friend around and they use your internet, you wouldn’t have to worry about Firefox recalling your passwords so they can login as you, as every time you start a new session, Firefox prompts you for the master password. By all means you can choose to install another program but Firefox’s master password and general password security should be enough for most people.
So now if you have some of the most common passwords, as your password, like secret, password, 123456, dragon, charlie, qwerty, abc123, letmein, monkey, myspace1, password1, blink182, god, sex, money, love, manchester, liverpool, arsenal or thomas (these are some of the most used I kept coming across on the net that were taken from surveys and studies) then it might be time to change them. Many people are even stupid (unknowing) enough to use their username as their password. So if you have one of the above or a variation of it, then change it today. Remember you no longer have to remember them as there are programs to do that tedious work for you.
When selecting new passwords, your primary ones that should be different from all the other forums and social networking sites, and from each other, are your email and bank passwords. The reason they should be 100% unique is if someone hacked one of your accounts from another site and then the passwords were the same, well they could get all your money and then take control of your email and hence change all your passwords on other sites. When this happens to someone it is the worst feeling, therefore to stop it from happening make these few passwords very strong by throwing in something only you would know, for example try adding CAPS and/or !@#$%^&*()-_ and/or regular lower case and/or numbers into it. Mix them up and make it something you could remember if needed. So maybe the first letter of everyone’s second name in your family in CAPS then a – then the day your mum and dad were born then a * and finally the last letter of the first name of everyone in your family. So it might look something like this: JSPB-12023004*eraf. With a password like this even your closest friends that know you inside out won’t be able to guess what it is.
Hopefully you’ll follow these few simple but effective guidelines and act on them today, this will likely save you from being at the mercy of some hacker from another country, who once has your details, can exploit you in ways you dare not imagine. Just remember, be creative and don’t be afraid to try software to help you remember those passwords.