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Create a Password That Won't Be Easily Hacked

If the data’s to be believed, Americans still love using the word “password” for their online passwords. Unbelievable, right? Well, sadly, it’s true. Password is indeed one of the most common passwords used by Americans.

What’s even more shocking than the use of “password” is the fact that year after year, this word is been used by countless users to safeguard their PCs even as major, heavily reported hacking events have affected well-known brands.

In recent years, sites like LinkedIn and Yahoo! were victims of large-scale security failures that saw hundreds of thousands of user passwords stolen by malicious hackers. (If you're a user of those two sites and haven’t changed your password in a long time, change it now!)

And yet, even with all of this information at hand, the following list of the most commonly used online passwords persists, year-after-year:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey
  7. letmein
  8. 123123
  9. 111111
  10. iloveyou

Computer Password Tips

Here's a good rule of thumb when coming up with a new password: The simpler your password is, the easier it will be for a malicious hacker to access your data and steal your valuable information.

Instead, follow some of the tips below to strengthen your passwords. While no password will ever be 100 percent effective, a stronger password is often all you’ll need to motivate a hacker into moving onto easier prey.

  1. Make sure your password is at least 8 characters long.
  2. Try a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters.
  3. Include symbols and numbers.
  4. Do not use names, simple words, birthdates, phone numbers or anything else that a computer program could easily decipher using any number of readily available dictionary and phonebook programs.
  5. For each Web site where you have an account, use a different password. This is an admittedly cumbersome approach, but you can make things easier on yourself by using a password management system.

 

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