Understanding How Passwords are Stolen
Passwords are usually stolen one of two ways. First, you may have a real person trying to hack your accounts. If this is the case, they will start with the most common, and worst, passwords.
If the person knows you, they'll start with obvious information like your birth date, anniversary dates, names of your kids, or street address. If the person doesn't know you, most likely, they've skimmed this information off your social networking sites.
The second and probably most dangerous way thieves steal your passwords is through automation. Bots troll sites and automatically use the most common passwords first. The 20 worst passwords listed below are the most easily cracked passwords.
20 Worst Passwords
In 2010, RockYou.com had a security breach that leaked 32 million passwords. Imperva used this opportunity to analyze the passwords and came up with the 20 most common and worst passwords possible.
Password -- Number of Users with Password
1. 123456 -- 290,731
2. 12345 -- 79,078
3. 123456789 -- 76,790
4. Password -- 61,958
5. iloveyou -- 51,622
6. princess -- 35,231
7. rockyou, facebook, or twitter -- 22,588
8. 1234567 -- 21,756
9. 12345678 -- 20,533
10. abc123 -- 17,542 11. Nicole -- 17,168
12. Daniel -- 16,409
13. babygirl -- 16,094
14. monkey -- 15,294
15. Jessica -- 15,162
16. Lovely -- 14,950
17. Michael -- 14,898
18. Ashley -- 14,329
19. 654321 -- 13,984
20. Qwerty -- 13,856
Tips for Creating Safe Passwords
To keep your identity safe, follow these tips for creating safe passwords:
Do's:Keep your passwords random
Mix up numbers, letters, and capitalization
Change your passwords several times each year
Use a different password for every site
Make a password from a sentence - ex: I love my dog and 4 kids = ilmda4k
Don'ts:Don't use letter or number sequences - ex: 123abc
Don't use the same password on all of your sites
Don't use actual words for passwords
Don't use the name of the service in your password ex: Twitter123
Let's Learn from Our Mistakes
You have a choice. You can keep using the same passwords, make thieves happy, and risk identity theft. Or, you can learn from past mistakes others have made, follow these tips, and create safe passwords. Avoiding identity theft isn't that difficult. Follow safe practices online, install anti-virus software, keep security patches updated, and be aware of the latest identity theft information by visiting this site.
Source: scambusters.org #394