Check out the following page.
This will take you to the 25 most commonly used online passwords in 2012. Are you using any of them? Hmm?
@bgrasley and I still marvel that “monkey” is still on the list! I do know some people who have used those in the past. It’s always a piece of good advice to tell them to change it to something more difficult to guess.
Why is it important? Well, your password is the only thing that keeps hackers from your accounts, and ultimately your privacy and your money. Biometrics may be on the horizon but we’re not there yet. A person who guesses your password is, in effect, you online and is able to do things that you can. Knowing how to protect an account is an important skill that all students should acquire. I’d start by taking a list of popular ones and realize the damage that can be done. I just noticed recently a well known individual from MIT end up being hacked on Facebook. In this case, the hacker posted some information about a weight loss program. Not good. Having that password allows you to do all sorts of things. Consider the following…
Name of the hacked person is hidden to protect them and the actual URL which is probably the destination for some phish website has been over written with red to hide it.
Intel has a great utility website to give you an idea as to just how strong your password is. It’s located at:
and it’s worth spending some time at. Note the warning that your password doesn’t actually leave your computer but it’s a good idea not to use any real password anyway. Maybe something close would give you a good enough idea of how good your password is. So, how good is “monkey”?
Not good! That advice is good for anything that’s found in a dictionary.
The nice thing to pass along to students is the information that Intel provides under the results. It’s a really good summary of some of the ways to make your password difficult to guess.
The website is well worth the bookmark and a great idea to have students test potential passwords whenever new accounts are created. Surely, you’re not about to use the same password on every site, are you? are they?
So, how do you generate a good password? Well, one way is to use this website.
(I’d add a character or two to the suggestions that it generates just to be sure…)
I generated one.
How good is it?
I think I’d be a great deal more comfortable with that security. You just then need to find some way to remember it! Contemporary browsers have the ability to remember passwords. (Just make sure that you have a secondary control over the passwords in case someone sits down at your computer!) Or, addons like LastPass do a terrific job.
Just don’t write your passwords down on paper!
- Passwords: You’re doing it wrong. Here’s how to make them uncrackable. (pcworld.com)
- How Do I Create a Strong Password? (webroot.com)
- Passwords: You’re Doing it Wrong. Here’s How to Make Them Uncrackable. (cio.com)
- Reality Behind Facebook Account Hacking (tecnostation.wordpress.com)
- How hackable is your password? McAfee offers password tips (forums.pinstack.com)
- The Most Unsafe Passwords of 2012 Look a Lot Like the Ones from 2011 (staples.com)
- WordPress Sites Under Botnet Attack: Keep Your Site Secure (nexcess.net)
- Stump the Identity Thief: 7 Tips to Create a Strong Password (allstate.com)
- How hackable is your password? McAfee offers password tips (news.cnet.com)
- Password Safety: Creating and managing secure passwords (cyberparse.com)