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Mar 3rd


Password Blunders You Probably Don't Know You're Making

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I was enjoying my coffee on a quiet Sunday morning, watching TV, when an interesting story aired on CBS Sunday Morning. It was a segment on passwords. It caught my attention because I could totally relate to the story: Creating unique and hard-to-hack passwords – that can be remembered! – is a frustrating experience. In the news story, the reporter cited a CBS News poll that found that roughly one in four people has to reset a password at least once a month. That's a lot of passwords.

The reporter interviewed a technology expert who said most people are clueless about password security. We seem to make the same mistakes over and over again when it comes to creating unhackable passwords.

(Read or view "A World Without Passwords" CBS Morning News for more details.)

I know I fall into the bucket of people who make password blunders. I think I'm outsmarting the bad cyber-crooks, when I'm really not.

How do you rate when it comes to common password blunders?

The Most Common Mistakes Made When Creating Passwords:
  • Creating a password with your name followed by a one or an exclamation point
  • A password comprised mostly of common words
  • Using the word love (e.g., iloveyou, love123, lovehim, etc.), which tops the list of the most-used words
  • Only putting numbers at the end of your password instead of throughout your password
  • Using obvious substitutions for letters in a personal password (e.g., S@lly123, B*bby226)
  • Using patterns of letters and/or numbers, like 1abc2def3ghi
  • Creating a password of less than 10 characters (it should really be 12-16 characters)
  • Using pop culture passwords like maytheforcebewithyou or sk8erboy
To avoid these password mistakes, tech experts recommend using a computer program that generates passwords for you. In addition, you can also add an extra layer of protection on your computer with programs like ID Vault, which securely stores all your online passwords for you.