OK, who hasn’t got too many bits of login information to remember? I doubt many would put their hands up to that question, because the fact is that we are mostly swamped with online accounts for various things. If it is not a commercial company who you have an account with, it is a bit of software on your home computer that needs a user id and login. Theoretically all of these accounts that we hold should have a different user id and password every time but, in practice, most people don’t bother.
Imagine having to remember dozens of different names and parcels of data. The majority of us probably have a couple of unique passwords and login ids (maybe even just one) that we use everywhere. While this might be easier on the memory it is not particularly safe if you want to avoid being hacked at some point. It goes without saying of course that if one of your secret areas gets hacked then all of them are at risk. This might not be too big a deal if someone can get into your online stationery wholesaler account but it would certainly be disastrous if someone got past your online banking security. Someone could be in and emptying your bank accounts in no time.
It is obvious then that we all need to be a bit clever with our choice of login information and if it has to be written down it should be done in careful code and kept in an ultra secure place. It is hard to imagine that until recently the most common password used was “password” and yet this is a recorded fact. This is now only the most second common one but the fact that it appears in the top ten at all is incredible. How unimaginative it is to use a word like that!
The most popular one now, according to research by the Independent, is the equally poor “123456” followed by “12345678” and “qwerty”. Every now and then there are major cyber attacks on both businesses and individuals. Tens of millions were affected by the massive attack on Adobe last year. This kind of thing certainly concentrates the minds of some people and organisations but, apparently, did not stop a lot of people from using “adobe123” as a password. It seems that anything in the global news has the capacity to worm its way into people’s consciousness and, sometimes, a keyword from a story sticks and becomes the next password that is used.
The Password Choice Top 20*
Going back to the list though, in at number five is “abc123” and is followed by “123456789”. Many password requesters now demand a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers so those two would not get past the current virtual system gatekeepers. For now though variations on sequential numbers are commonly used along with stock phrases like iloveyou and easily guessable words like “sunshine” or “monkey”.
The bottom line has to be that we all must start being more imaginative with our login information. If you have thought of something easily then the chances are a hacker will second guess you and will soon be running amok in and around your personal data. The consequences of that could be fairly mild irritation and inconvenience or a disastrous loss of money from your bank account. If you are responsible for running a small to medium sized business, it is well worth putting a secure password policy in place for you employees. Speak to your IT support provider for advice.