Decades ago, people did not need passwords unless they were in the military. With endless electric gadgets, many people use them several times a day. They protect smartphones, computers, bank accounts, e-commerce accounts and accounts for streaming services. So, why do so many people use the weakest passwords?
So Many PasswordsWhen people have a dozen passwords, which they should have for safety reasons, they constantly forget them and then have to hit the “forget password” button. Then, later, they forget them again. Some people use the same password for all accounts, which online security experts say is a bad idea. (19 surprising things the U.S. government knows about you.)
Many online businesses require people to create complicated passwords. They will not allow people to open accounts unless these passwords have one capital letter, one small-cap one, one number (or maybe two), a symbol (?) and nothing that includes the person’s name, address, phone number or a spouse’s name or birthday. Presumably, these are much harder to break than using someone’s name.
Identity theft is a huge problem in America. Hackers have hit huge businesses and taken people’s online identities. An Equifax breach a few years ago exposed the identities of 140 million people. CNN reported, “This breach was particularly alarming as Equifax (EFX) is one of the major companies that tracks credit histories of almost all Americans and sells that sensitive information to banks, credit card companies and other clients.”
The Worst PasswordA new report from Nordpass, “The Top 200 Common Passwords,” shows these 200 passwords, how often they have been used in the past year and how long they take to crack. Several took less than a second. The weakest password, because of the number of times it was used and the speed with which it can be hacked, is “123456.” The user count was 4,524,867 times.
Other common passwords that are easy to break and often used are “admin” and “password.” The lesson from the study was that people who get hacked do not try to create hack-resistant passwords.
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