If you see your password here, you better change it.
When we choose passwords, most prefer easy to remember words. We’re all guilty of doing that at least once. A client used her husband’s name, a woman who used her favorite baseball team and a man chose“12345” as his standard password. I kid you not. These may be easy to remember. Unfortunately, they are common and also easy to guess.
They buy password lists.
Hackers buy password lists. Sometimes they write these from scratch. Sometimes they purchase them. You can see if yours is on the common list by visiting http://www.passwordrandom.com/most-popular-passwords. Warning: some are vulgar. Adults only.
What to do if yours is on the list.
This site shows 100 passwords per page. Maybe you work on Madison Avenue and you use #240 (madison) online. You can strengthen that password by capitalizing a letter, changing a letter to a number and adding a special character. Sticking with the “madison” example,
- Change a letter to its cap. You can change madison to Madison (note the capital M).
- Change a letter to a number. You can change Madison to Madis0n (note the zero).
- Change a letter to a special character. you can change Madis0n to Madi$0n (note the dollar sign).
By following this simple advice, you reduce the chances that someone will guess your passwords and hack your online accounts.
How about an online password manager?
Yes, you read that right. You can use a service that remembers your passwords. You create a master password and install a Toolbar into your web browser. After completing that task, you visit your regular websites and login. The app asks if you want to save your password. You choose yes or no. If you choose yes, the app automatically logs you in upon your next visit.
I tested in Windows 10 with Chrome and on my iPhone 6. I am loyal to LastPass.com, but agree other similar services out there command respect. Find a service that works and improve your security.