A series of hacks to popular sites like LinkedIn, Yahoo!, eHarmony and Last.fm has revealed the startlingly easy passwords we all use. How often have you created a password with words like “password,” “123,” or “qwerty”? The numbers say you’re not the only one. Of the 442,773 total passwords hacked from Yahoo!, close to a quarter were used by more than one person. These hacks brought other patterns to light as well – like how often the last four digits of a password are a year, with 2008 being the most popular among LinkedIn passwords.
Though this shows that the majority of us aren’t very original when we create passwords, there are clear patterns we can avoid to make our passwords a little more secure. Don’t end your password with a year, don’t use common base words (like password or ninja), substitute numbers or characters for letters when you can (like 3 for E), and try to make it something unique to you.
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