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Everyone needs them, everyone uses them. But how secure are they? When creating your password, make sure it isn’t obvious, something that someone isn’t gonna guess in 5 minutes. Don’t use your dogs name, you cats name, your mums maiden name, the university you went to, the place you were born. All of this information is easy to get hold of. 

A list of the top 25 most commonly used passwords in 2017

 1)   12345 6)   123456789 11)  admin 16)  starwars 21)  hello
 2)   password 7)   letmein 12)  welcome 17)  123123 22)  freedom
 3)   12345678 8)   1234567 13)  monkey 18)  dragon 23)  whatever
 4)   qwerty 9)   football 14)  login 19)  passw0rd 24)  qazwsx
 5)  12345 10) iloveyou 15)  abc123 20)  master 25)  trustno1

 

Watch this quick video of just how easy it can be to get someones password.

 

It starts off with the interviewer asking the public what their passwords are. If they didn’t give up their password straight away, they were then asked leading questions where they eventually gave the interviewer all the information they needed. Now, you may think these people are pretty stupid for giving their information up that easily, but it really can be that simple. It may not be as direct as just asking what your password is and then asking leading questions, but clues of what your password could be are easy to find out

An easy way of generating passwords is putting a few simple words together or creating a phrase that only you would know. For instance, fireman Sam loves to tango. It is completely random and wouldn’t be obvious to anybody. It is so simple to create passwords, simply look around your office and list 3 items like coaster, banana, pen or mug, bottle, phone. It sounds really silly but its actually a very clever way of generating passwords and they are easy things to remember.

You should have different passwords for every single website you visit. Do not reuse your passwords because if one website gets hacked and your password is leaked, you will have to change the same password on every other website that is using it. A good way to remember all your passwords is a password manager. We’ve used a few different password applications like 1Password and LastPass. But they all pretty much do the same thing and there’s not much that separates them. They are a really handy way to store you passwords.

1password

How often should you change your password?

This varies as the advice changes from the likes of Microsoft to the cyber security experts all the time. One crowd will say you should change them regularly and change them every week and some will say you need to change them every six months. Six months isn’t a bad suggestion as its quite easy to remember a password in that time. A week or a month is probably too quick. For work passwords in particular, your employer doesn’t really have much control over who has your password. Chances are if you’re not changing your password regularly, they can quite easily pop your details into a phishing email or phishing website and your password could be compromised. You might not even notice. It could be six months before you notice. So, for work purposes, your work password, the one you use to log in every single day, that should be changed fairly regularly. Six months again would be fairly good practice for changing your passwords. You could go monthly or annually, it all depends how extreme you want your IT policy to be.

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