Interlinked - Is your password asking to be hacked?

Is your password asking to be hacked?

With everything moving online these days it’s become increasingly difficult to keep track of all our passwords. However, it is absolutely no reason to make it easy for hackers to gain access to your personal information. Highly organised cyber-crime groups are on the rise, and they are able to use fully automated programs to effortlessly break into online accounts.

Is your password safe? 

The initial step for most cyber criminals is to run through a list of commonly used passwords. Once they have exhausted these possibilities, they will start trying variations, such as adding in a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers, non-alphanumeric characters…etc.

Being aware of the threat is the first step to protecting your online security. Every year web security specialist SplashData trawls through millions of leaked passwords in search of the most popular ones. Here is their latest “Annual Worst Passwords List” – if you see any of your passwords on this list, then it is time to change it:

1 123456 14 abc123
2 password 15 111111
3 12345 16 mustang
4 12345678 17 access
5 qwerty 18 shadow
6 123456789 19 master
7 1234 20 michael
8 baseball 21 superman
9 dragon 22 696969
10 football 23 123123
11 1234567 24 batman
12 monkey 25 trustno1
13 letmein

Tips for creating a more secure password

Aside from the golden rule of not putting your password on a post-it note near your computer, there are many more ways to protect your accounts from unwanted access.

  • Create passwords of at least 8 to 16 characters long
  • Use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols e.g. 1nterl!nkED&
  • Avoid using dictionary words (including foreign words) as hackers use dictionary tools
  • Create a password that is not easy to guess e.g. your name, your phone number
  • Many websites now have password strength indicators when you are creating a new password – pay close attention to these and adjust your password accordingly
  • Memorise your password
  • Change your password regularly
  • Don’t reuse old passwords
  • Don’t share your password with anyone
  • Never email your password to anyone including yourself

Protecting your password is one of the easiest things you can do to boost your online security, so take action right away!

And remember, trustno1.