A recent poll by David Henry Marketing based on millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers has uncovered some unusual passwords (to say the least). Clearly, using simple, recognizable passwords is an open invitation to online fraud and data breaches.
Choosing "password" as your password, for example, is obviously not a good idea, unless you want to make it super easy for the hackers. Unbelievably, it ranks as the most common online password.
The list is somewhat predicable. Sequences of adjacent numbers or letters on the keyboard, such as "qwerty" and "123456,” are followed by names of website owners or just popular names, such as "Ashley" or "Michael.”
But a couple to make the top 25 are harder to explain; "monkey" and "shadow,” for example, are totally random, but still too easy to hack.
Many websites now require passwords to use both numbers and letters, but even with this mandated complexity, people simplify and create passwords that are easy to hack, such as "abc123" and "trustno1.”
From our research, here are the top 25 most hacked passwords for 2012:
We urge businesses to force employees to create complex passwords that change regularly. Anyone using one of the passwords above should change it immediately. Hackers can now easily break into accounts and devices using sophisticated software, so we must all place more emphasis on ensuring passwords are difficult, if not impossible, to break down.
The top three tips to help prevent fraud and deception:
Until a company or person has suffered a major loss or inconvenience, most ignore the very real risks. Online fraud and data breaches are massive issues and growing global problems. To protect yourself and your business, be more vigilant and ensure every precaution is taken to ensure online and device safety.
- Vary different types of characters in your passwords - include numbers, letters and special characters when possible.
- Don't use the same password and username combination for multiple websites.
- Choose passwords of eight characters or more. Separate short words with spaces or underscores.