Imagine you have a house where you keep your valuables. The rooms contain expensive family heirlooms, wads of cash and photos from that once-in-a-lifetime trip. You always make sure to keep the house locked, and you’re the only one with a key to the place. Now, would you hide the key under a welcome mat that reads: “There’s a key under here”?
Obviously, this seems foolish. Now think of that house as the Internet, and instead of heirlooms, it has your banking information and Social Security number. There are still photos, but there is also access to your work files. Your password is the key that keeps it all safe, so if you pick a password like “123456,” you’re essentially giving cybercriminals a spare key to your sensitive data.
We’ve told you this before, but it seems a refresher might be in order.
The Internet security app company SplashData has released its latest list of the worst passwords of the year. Once again, the dubious honor of the top slot goes to the geniuses who keep “123456” as their password of choice – though “12345,” “12345678” were in the top five, also.
The worst passwords aren’t simply numerical. The silver medal in this event of computer carelessness goes to whoever uses “password” as a password. That includes you, Sony Pictures.
New to the list are the words “access,” “superman,” “batman,” “master” and “michael.” You can see the full collection of 25 cybersecurity fails here, but it’d probably be more useful to check out this infographic on how to create a password that’s effective.