Bad password habits: It’s a real (dangerous) thing
So much of our lives are online these days and what we don’t share openly is ‘locked’ behind one little password. It started off with just a few portals that required registration and login passwords and now it seems to affect absolutely everything; from medical aid to retail store accounts to banking to iTunes to freaking online news even. It gets a bit much and we start to get lazy. Before you know it the same password that you’re using for a magazine subscription and your retirement investment’s online account… I think you see where this is going.
Mac Myriad recently showed this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live and no matter how remarkably DUMB you think these people are, you’ve probably also been pretty stupid with your passwords somewhere along the line without even realizing it.
So here’s the deal. It’s time to stop being lazy and to look after your personal information online – this starts with changing bad password habits to good.
Hackers often use software to crack passwords. The longer it takes them to crack, the more likely they are to give up and move on to easier prey.
Mix up your letters and non-letters, instead of having the same kind of patterns. E.g. Pimping0109 is an easy hack as it has a common pattern of composition. It should never contain a recognizable word.
Some common password patterns that make your passwords weak:
One upper case, then 5 lower case, then 2 digits (Example: Techie57)
One upper case, then 6 lower case, then 2 digits (Example: Techies64)
One upper case, then 3 lower case, then 4 digits (Example: Girl1981)
Some common password mistakes:
Starting with an upper case letter followed by lower case letters
When a password isn’t long enough, adding a letter or two to the base word
Putting digits, especially two or four of them, before or after the letters
When a special character is required, using “!” and putting it at the end
Not using two special characters in the same password
Never use a pet’s name
Never use your birth date, or anyone’s birth date
A good idea is to set up a recurring calendar appointment to change your important passwords regularly
Look into using a secure and reliable password keeper to keep track of your passwords.
I usually send out a weekly mailer with a recap of blog posts but also some personal anecdotes. If you want to know about competitions or just catch up in a more personal setting then you might like to receive the mailer.