Your password shouldn’t be an easy guess, yet the word itself is the most common password used, according to the tech team at online electrical retailer AO.com.
It’s vital that we remain careful to help protect personal details like emails, banking information, and personal content. So exactly where are most of us slipping up? Well, it’s by using words we deem confidential like surnames, pet names, or our date of birth. These common passwords can quite simply take hackers just a couple of seconds to crack.
Here are 10 very common passwords to steer clear of:
Just last year The Telegraph reported that Microsoft decided to save us from ourselves by banning easy passwords altogether, instructing users to “choose a password that’s harder for people to guess”, if their first choice is deemed too easy to hack. Many platforms that use passwords even show users how strong their new password is by rating it "easy", "medium", or "strong".
“We analyze the passwords that are being used most commonly. Bad guys use this data to inform their attacks," Alex Weinart, from Microsoft's Identity Security and Protection team, wrote in an online post.
It’s easy to find out parts of people’s private lives, such as their mother’s maiden name, using social media platforms like Facebook. Hackers will use various words associated with you personally to try to guess your password.
You can make it a lot harder for cybercriminals to invade your privacy by making your password more complex. Cyber Aware note various ways to do this. One method is to use three completely unrelated words and add numbers or symbols to create passwords like "3redhousemonkeys27!"
Cyber Aware also advises people to use two-factor authentication, which adds more protection to your personal accounts. If available, this helps makes you less of a target for hackers because it always sends you a unique code to enter when you try to sign in on a device that isn't directly linked to your account.