Bad password choices, a simple failure

It’s now a new year, so lets try and learn from some of our 2017 mistakes! Our issue still remains with passwords, and not only in 2017. Although, last year had seen some very large security breaches. One example was the Uber leak, which saw records of approx. 57 million users worldwide being compromised.

We all hear about these breaches, however much of the time our mentality is “it will never affect me, that’s just unlucky”. This is why users are still using simple passwords. It’s much like seeing a disaster on the news, since it hasn’t affected you there is a false sense of security. It’s only until something happens to us that reality sinks in.

Research data from 2017 has shown that the following list are some of the commonly passwords chosen.

  • 123456
  • password
  • 12345678
  • qwerty
  • computer

The reason why we are still using simple password is because they are easy to remember. Think about how many passwords are needed these days. Probably one for each social media account, another for emails, another for the computer etc. Sometimes is hard enough remembering what we did last month, let alone all of those passwords.

Having a password that can be easily guessed by us i.e. a human, means that a computer can crack it in a tenth of the time. What this means is that there is a machine using calculations to sort of guess the right combination. Just think about how easily 123456 will be to crack. This is why many sites have a per-requisite when creating a password. It’s a very good idea to have a mixture of uppercase, lowercase a number and a character in your passwords. This makes the “cracking” much harder and sort of requires more computer thinking for this to be done. Also, it’s very unlikely that someone will be able to guess it. A good example is H3ll0w!

Another way to minimize yourself from a breach is to use a secure password manager. There are loads available, however the security level can vary. This is not an ideal way to keep yourself save, however it is a lot better than using 123456 as a password. Remember, your password manager is only as secure as the password you choose for it! Even then, you are entrusting your information to a 3rd party app.