You might feel like your passwords are fine as they are and that you don’t need to put any effort into creating strong passwords, but the risk of leaving your online accounts easily hacked into is too great. Cybercriminals and hackers can do more than see what you message your friends. If they can get into one account, assume that they can get into all of them. Don’t make it easy for cybercriminals to break in and choose strong unique passwords for every account.
When choosing a password go beyond what each online account requires you to do. Remember, cybercriminals can easily see what the password requirements are for an account by pretending they forgot the password or pretending to make a new account. Here are five of the worst passwords you could choose. Whether you have HughesNet, Verizon, AT&T, Earthlink, or any other internet provider, if your password is on this list, we recommend you change it as soon as possible.
This is undoubtedly the worst possible password you can choose. Annual studies conducted about online passwords show the word “password” within their top 10 most commonly used passwords every year. Your password should be easy for you to remember, but not so obvious for any cybercriminal to break within minutes.
2. Your Name
Even if you think one of your online accounts was randomly targeted by cybercriminals, it is always a good idea to never use your name in your passwords. Studies also show how common it is for people to use their name somewhere within their password. Hackers can easily find all of your online accounts and trace them back to one that you do use your real name for like an email account or social media profile.
3. Consecutive Numbers
Passwords that are strings of consecutive numbers are probably the oldest passwords around. Sure they’re easy for you to type in, easy to remember, but it also opens you up for someone else to guess. Random variants aren’t necessarily better either. Hackers will try the easiest and most common passwords used first. To really have a strong password you’ll still need some numbers, but it also helps to have special characters, upper and lower case numbers.
4. Single Word
Single words are easily cracked by cybercriminals as well. These criminals aren’t just sitting at the computer thinking of ways they could get in like you or I do when we forget our password. There is software out there that lets cybercriminals and hackers use to automatically submit thousands of passwords at a time. Something like a single word by itself without special characters won’t slow them down.
5. A Password You Already Use
If you’re a person who uses the same password on multiple accounts, we strongly urge you to stop doing that today. All of your accounts including your social media profiles, email, and even online banking are vulnerable right now. Cybercriminals also know that people do this and they take advantage of it at every opportunity. If all they need is one password for access to everything you use, you could have all your online accounts taken over in the matter of minutes.