Network Security – Some Folks Still Don’t Get It
Ah yes – the ubiquitous password. Remarkably, nearly half the internet users in the world still don’t get network security. Which leads me to share something with you and no; it’s not my password or my P@ssw0rd or even my p@55w0rd. No, it’s my two and only axioms: Firstly, that some people need to get hit with a bigger stick, and secondly that everyone has the God given right to be stupid and given the chance, most people will exercise that right.
Yes I’m talking to you. You know who you are. You’re the one protecting your life with 123456 or qwerty or (this one will really keep them guessing) abc123. And while I don’t mean to be insulting by calling you stupid, I do intend to hit you with a bigger stick. Password theft is up by 300% according to security vendor Security Coverage. So, does your password make a hacker squeal like a schoolgirl with delight? Take a look at the latest list and then you tell me. Introducing this year’s list (drum roll, please) of the top 25 dumbest passwords on the planet with a nod to SplashData, the security software company who authored this list.
Bear in mind this data is based on information stemming from some of the highest profile network security breaches of this year suffered by Yahoo, LinkedIn, eHarmony, Zappos and a few other of the biggest names in the game.
- password (Really? still a perennial fave)
- 123456 (Again, with the really?)
- 12345678 (Now that’s thinking outside the box)
- abc123 (Ok, I promise no more snide comments)
If you look at the aforementioned Yahoo hack from earlier this year, the list is the same only different:
There are times when I think about baseball <cough>, afterall it’s a great distraction but it’s a helluva lousy password. And as much as I would like to be a Ninja Master Dragon Princess, not at the risk of having my life being turned on its ashley. I mean, jesus!
So for the 46% of you who still don’t get it – here are the 123’s (and the 456’s) of P@ssw0rd protocol, which is of course the first step towards good network security. Start thinking of your password as a passphrase instead. Creating a “pass word” (don’t use this one, I’m just trying to be clever) that consists of two words with a space goes miles towards thwarting the same folks who brought you millions of dollars by way of a Nigerian prince. Then take it a step further and throw in symbols, numerals and special characters. So in the above example “password” becomes “P@ss w0rd”. Oh, and by the way – those quote characters won’t hurt either.
To wrap up, don’t use simple passwords. And don’t use keyboard patterns or sequential numbers. Use passphrases that consist of multiple words with spaces, upper and lower case letters, numerals and special characters. Too tough you say? Then I say you’re just plain lazy. I know, I can be a bit condescending sometimes. But it’s only because iloveyou.
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