Keep Your Accounts Safe By Using Strong Passwords

In a massive data breach that affected Adobe in late 2013, nearly 3 million encrypted credit card records were believed to have been stolen. As much as Adobe users were alarmed, so were security companies. Security companies make a list of the most common passwords they see whenever a data breach happens. Adobe’s was one of the cases they looked into. They found a string of common passwords - one you may be using right now for one of your accounts.

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Top five passwords used
Here are the top five passwords as published in KimKomando:

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • password
  • adobe123
  • 12345678.

Apparently, users love to pick passwords that are easy to remember, and that makes sense. We want to be able to remember them. Unfortunately, easy to remember passwords are also easy to guess. Passwords secure your account and help keep the bad guys from stealing confidential information. Hence, it’s important to make sure that yours isn’t a giveaway.

Common password mistakes
Some people create one password for all of their accounts. This makes remembering your password would a lot easier. Safety-wise, this isn’t the case. If a hacker decodes your password in one of your accounts, that means they also gain access to the rest. It’s as easy as that.

It’s also common for people to use the name of the site as their password. This is no secret. So, please skip the brand name and make yours unique. By making your password unique, this also means that you don’t use names of family members - spouse, children, parents or even pets.

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Although professional hackers do not manually try type in passwords (they are a lot smarter than that), using personal information as your password still poses a threat. According to experts, strong passwords are made of a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters and are at least eight characters long. Now, how do you build one that you can easily remember?

How to build a strong, yet easy to remember password
Tech professionals suggest picking out a phrase from a rhyme or a song and playing with initials, for example, each word’s first letter. From there, you can create your own mix of characters. Let’s take a lyrics of a song as an example. “Heal the world, make it a better place” can be transformed to “HtW_M!aBp3.” Then, you can tweak it a little for each account: HtW_M!aBp3TR (Twitter) or HtW_M!aBp3Fb (Facebook). The challenge here now is remembering the password. Tech guys suggest that you look into apps or software that will help you manage your passwords such as Dashlane.

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, safety is my primary concern. Protect your valuable data by creating a strong password. If you’re still using your old password, please spend the next few minutes updating it. Ask your loved ones to do so, too. It will keep your information safe and help save you from future frustrations.

Michael Schafer
The Personal Injury Attorney for Louisville and Kentucky
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