Passwords and protecting your digital data

Posted By on March 29, 2017

We all struggle with ease of use and security when using a computer and online services … what’s the best way?


That’s likely a debatable question since we want easy access, but don’t want our data compromised – "how easy is too easy?" What we do know is that a simple or "no" password is a prescription for trouble. In the early days, when computers were not connected to the Internet, having a relatively simple 6 digit password that accessed your computer on "boot up" was sufficient for most users. Nowadays, computers and devices are online all the time, networks are interconnected an open to attack even though we don’t know the attempts are happening. Apps, software downloads, thumb drives, SD cards, etc can have malware designed to log keystrokes or open ports to malicious users from halfway around the world … and to add to that, the "Internet of Things" (IoT) trend has 100s of devices now all wanted access to the same network we use everyday.

So the least we can do is adopt safe practices to secure each device … and that starts with multiple secure passwords for each device and sites that are changed once in a while.

Maybe a few "don’t do" thoughts (below) and consider a password keeper IF you think how you manage your own passwords is questionable when it comes to secure practices.

These passwords will get you hacked

Earlier this year, security firm Keeper found that the most common password across the globe was 123456. The firm analyzed millions of leaked passwords. Other top-ranked secret codes were hardly more secure. They included 12345678, 123456789 and 1234567890.

The third most popular password was “qwerty,” which is the first six keys on the top left row of the computer keyboard. Far too many people use the remarkably unimaginative password 111111. And many others can unlock their accounts by just punching in seven 7s in a row.

This is not an isolated issue. The top 25 passwords last year accounted for more than half of the 10 million passwords Keeper analyzed.

The firm says that any of the passwords on its list can be compromised in seconds by dictionary-based cracking tools.

This is part of a larger trend of people not taking the threats to their information and accounts seriously.

Ohioans need to set passcodes on their mobile devices and should avoid easy-to-guess words or numerical sequences, like 1-2-3-4, said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

Each online account needs its own password so that if one becomes compromised, hackers cannot access a person’s other accounts, which commonly happens, experts said.

And variations of easy-to-guess passwords also are far too popular.



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