One of the hazzards of us living our lives online is the need to remember any number of usernames and passwords, and often the temptation is to use the same username and password to access all of our various accounts, including social networking sites and crucially online banking.
Because of the difficulty of remembering all of these, many people leave themselves open to having their account broken into by having short and simple passwords that can either be guessed or cracked thanks to a “dictionary attack” – essentially where a hacker uses a tool that goes through all of the words in a dictionary and uses each as a password until one works.
MoneyWise has published a list of the top ten most commonly used passwords which shows that depsite all the warning and the possible consequences, we’re still pretty lax when it comes to picking passwords:
There’s also some good advice on picking strong passwords:
Take advantage of the shift key; use the available characters – such as & or % – in addition to numbers and capital letters. Mixing different types of characters will make your password much more secure. Try to ensure your password is a decent length, say 10 to 16 characters.
How do you pick your own passwords? Have you got a cunning way to remember them? Let us know in the comments below.
photo credit: dusk-photography