What are the most frequently used passwords
Passwords should be just as secure as door locks!
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Sounds reasonable? But it is not a matter of course.
The top 10 used passwords are not complicated, but use simple series of numbers. But passwords such as “Hello” and “Password” also occur. This was published by the Hasso Plattner Institute in 2018. Even if you don't believe it: the most frequently used password is "123456".
“Such weak passwords are like front doors with a key on the outside. They are almost an invitation to identity theft, ”says HPI director Christoph Meinel.
This is exactly where the big problem lies. Even the most secure system no longer provides perfect protection if users use simple passwords. Weak and insecure passwords are still used the most.
Why are strong passwords so important?
There are two ways for hackers to break into systems. They either find security gaps in the program code or they use automated programs that decrypt passwords, emails and other login data.
Security gaps are closed by regular updates from developers. However, each user has to take care of the security of his own access himself.
Most internet users assume that a hacker is not interested in their data or that they are not the target of an attack. However, many underestimate the fact that it often has nothing to do with interest in the data. If there is a chance for a hacker to gain access to e-mail inboxes or online shopping accounts with a light password, then he will do so.
Using a strong password is essential
In order to minimize the risk of being hacked yourself, there are a few tips and tricks that you should keep in mind.
- A password does not necessarily have to consist of one word. Passwords can be of any length or entire sentences. Passwords should be at least 10 characters long.
- It may have failed. A password doesn't have to make sense. Use upper and lower case letters, special characters and numbers. Birth dates, names, or phone numbers associated with you and your family are too uncertain.
- Donkey bridges and password managers. In order to think up a secure password and to be able to remember it, you can use very simple sentences. For example: “I have 20 pairs of great shoes on the shelf!” Can be converted to: “Ih20PtSiRs!” If that is too difficult for you, you should get a password manager. The most secure include, for example, 1Password, StickyPassword and KeePass. These managers create and remember the passwords for you. A master password gives you access to your logins.
- Whoever wants to be happy has to change often. What Confucius said also applies to passwords. Change your passwords regularly, especially for sensitive accounts like online banking. If an online service provider reveals major data leaks or your device is infected with malware, you should change your password immediately. Here you can test your e-mail address or your password and see whether your data was affected by a hack. https://haveibeenpwned.com/
Use different passwords
The most important point to note with passwords: use multiple passwords for different portals. Data breaches are not uncommon and can even affect well-known providers. If you then use the same password on Amazon, Ebay or the bank, financial damage can quickly arise. A hacker will try to see if your password works on other accounts.
Two is Better
Passwords alone are often no longer enough
But there are other ways to protect yourself against identity theft. One method that is offered by many online service providers is: "Two-factor authentication". When logging in, not only is the password called up, but a combination of two different and independent components. The second level of authentication can, for example, be a confirmation code via SMS, or require the use of a USB token.
Save or remember?
Saving passwords in the browser is not always a good idea.
Many services offer to save the previously entered password in the browser. To be on the safe side, you should avoid that.
It is not always guaranteed that the passwords are stored in encrypted form. Unfortunately, passwords are often stored in clear text and are therefore easy to read. Attackers like to use malicious programs such as Trojans, which then have no difficulty in gaining passwords.
Another risk is hidden behind the use of a device with other people. Anyone who has access to your device can also access the saved passwords. Firefox, for example, allows you to create a master password for the password safe, but that is also easy to crack. The risk increases if a device is lost or stolen from you.
Briefly summarized for you:
Simple passwords do not provide sufficient protection. Unfortunately, the most common passwords are usually simple series of numbers. We show tips on how to make your data difficult to access for others.
- A password does not necessarily have to consist of one word. It can also be a whole sentence.
- It may have failed. Various combinations of numbers, letters, and characters work best.
- Donkey bridges and password managers. To make it easy to remember passwords, you can use the first letters of your favorite song. But password managers are also very helpful.
- Annual changes to the passwords provide additional protection for your data.
However, it is particularly important that you should never use the same password for different portals. Large companies are also affected by data theft and mishaps. As soon as a hacker has a password from you, he tries to see if it works elsewhere.
Conclusion: You should pay attention to your data and secure it thoroughly, as if you provided your front door with a security lock.
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