Whilst it might be incredibly frustrating to go through the song and dance of adding capital letters, numbers and punctuation to your numerous passwords – it does have a purpose.
But first, let's have a LOL at the 10 most hackable - and frankly ridiculous - passwords…
I mean, seriously? That would be as silly as having 1234 as your PIN. And yet, Spashdata named 12345 as their number 1 most popular hackable password.
I don't think we really need to go into this one…
This old classic simply doesn't cut it when it comes to keeping your personal data safe – and no amount of numbers on the end is going to help that.
If your name is in your email address or footer – it's not exactly a stretch to work out what your password might be if you're silly enough to use your own name.
With a password like that, you shouldn't even be allowed out.
Really original… no seriously.
The password you use for everything
Ok, we're all guilty of this one. But don't worry, we've detailed below how you can avoid this faux pas.
Vom. I mean, cute. But no.
The name of the network
I.e LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. It might be easier to remember, but it's just not smart.
Seems like you've outsmarted the system oh wise one. Oh wait, no you haven't.
Ok, all very funny - if you want more, check out the 100 most popular passwords – but we do know what happens when you don't use secure passwords. There have been many horror stories from average Joe's and celebrities alike. Leaked documents, photographs and more can often be attributed to poor security. Check out 5 insane ones here.
So, what can you do?
- Use phrases rather than words…
I don't mean 'I love football'. A song lyric, line of poetry or your favourite saying are good and lengthy enough phrases. If you'd like to go a step further, try something personal. For example: 'ilovemylabradoodlemurphy', 'house27ofsmithroad' or 'iamsamandemmasmummy' etc. Have a memorable sequence of numbers and special characters too. Perhaps replace all e's with 3's – or i's and l's with 1's.
- Avoid repeating passwords…
It wouldn't be the end of the world if your Facebook account got hacked… but what about your bank account?
Not all online accounts were created equal – so don't treat them like they are. Put a concerted effort into passwords on your extra valuable accounts. Also, don't forget PayPal or other third party payment sites, whilst they may not be as 'important' as your online banking, they do have direct access to an amount of your funds.
- Can't remember all those numbers, letters and symbols?
You can use a good old fashioned pen and paper, but there are better and more modern ways to store your multiple passwords. If you have an iPhone or Apple product, Keychain can store your passwords – as long as no one knows your laptop log-in.
Other apps include: Dashlane, Keeper, LastPass and 1Password, but there are many many more.
If you're dead-set of sticking with ink, put that notebook or paper somewhere unsuspecting – like in the cutlery draw, your make-up bag, shed etc.
As a final note, with all these passwords floating around, it's easy to get a little lost. Ensure that your recovery details are correct – for example, don't use an old email address that you've forgotten the password to, as a recovery address.
Where possible, also link your mobile number to your accounts. Text verification is super efficient and easy – and might save you a lot of heartache.
Happy passwording. Stay safe out there.