THERE are certain passwords, that if used, are the equivalent of handing over your login details to a hacker. These ones should be avoided at all costs.
DO you use your child or pet’s name as your password?
Or are you a fan of bond007, trustno1 or abc123?
According to Queensland Police, if you answered “yes” to any of the above or “password” is your password, then you’re one of many and “unfortunately this makes you particularly vulnerable online”.
“If you use a password based on a name, it can be easily broken,” a Queensland Police statement issued today read.
“Hackers know many people use passwords starting with a capital letter and often use the same password across many sites.
“Once a hacker works it out, they can gain access to them all.”
If you’ve recently set up a new account… well anywhere really, you’ve probably been screamed at by the robot.
Password must contain a hieroglyph, stool sample and the blood of your first born. You know the deal. Yet, there are still websites that do not force its users to use high quality passwords. And people are still using passwords that are far too obvious.
Financial crime or fraud is estimated to cost Australia over $8.5 billion annually.
SplashData, a password management provider, recently released its annual list of “Worst Passwords of the Year” using data from 5 million leaked passwords from users in North America and Western Europe.
The worst passwords in 2017 included some repeat offenders and completely new terms. The first and second most used passwords were the same as the year prior: “123456” and “Password,” respectively. While “12345” went down two spots to the number 5 slot, “123456789” was a new addition at number 8.
FULL LIST OF THE “WORST” PASSWORDS IN 2017, according to SplashData
QLD Police today warned people “it’s time to reset your passwords” for people who use any of those on the list.
“If you get stuck on how to create a stronger password try using at least 12 characters and include symbols such as $,?,% @ in random places to make it more difficult to be broken,” QLD Police advised in a statement.
“It may be harder to remember, but consider the alternative.
“Losing your personal data, account details or a sum of money is much more inconvenient in the long run.
“Remember, only you should be in control of your passwords.”
SplashData estimated that almost 10 per cent of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on the 2017 list, and nearly three per cent of people have used the worst password, 123456.
The company noted that the past few years have been particularly devastating for data security, with a number of well-publicised hacks, — Equifax, Dropbox, and the SEC — attacks, ransoms, and even extortion attempts.
The company recommends using passphrases instead of simple passwords, mirroring advice earlier this year from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Passphrases should include at least 12 characters and a mix of characters, including upper and lower cases, SplashData recommended. Users should also be sure to set a unique password for each website, and consider using a password manager.