The most popular password in America is "123456." The second most popular password in America is "password." The third most popular is “12345678." In fact, six of the top 10 passwords are numbers counting up to however many characters are required by the system. Six!
You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to know that these passwords are awful. But we found one – Cody Wamsley, Phoenix Program Director of the Information Systems Security Association – to give us three tips for better passwords.
1. Don't Use a Top 10 Password
Look up the top ten passwords, appreciate how truly terrible they really are, and then DON'T USE THEM! Any of them! Just don’t do it! Cody explains, "In a brute force attack hackers are no longer needing to attempt to guess the password; now they're just guessing the username."
2. Use Easy Tricks for a More Complex Password You Can Remember
Cody says, “You can exchange characters that look similar,” such as a dollar sign for “S,” a zero in place of an “O.” Another trick from Cody is to use “places on a keyboard to draw designs.” So drawing a diamond starting on the letter T yields the string “T-F-V-G.” It’s nonsensical as a string of letters, but an easy, simple shape to remember on your keyboard.
3. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
With multi-factor authentication enabled, Cody says, “Once you type in your password it will also send a code to your cellphone that you have to enter. Which means that now you have to know both your password and have your cellphone that's associated with that account.
Don't listen to people who say there's no such thing as an effective password. Just like putting up a "Beware of Dog" sign on your door, anything that makes someone else look like an easier mark makes you less attractive to hackers.
How often do you change your computer password? Join in on the conversation on our official Twitter page, @TheListShowTV!