Friday, September 10, 2010

Remembering 9-11

This, the 9th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, offers a time to remember, to reflect about this unforgettable moment in history, and to reconsider the effect that September 11 has had on our country and the world.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are You Using One of these Passwords?

Identity theft is on the rise and it's no wonder. Security firm, Imperva, says that even though theft of personal information and hacking are more technologically advanced than ever, computer users are not. Internet security studies by Unix in 1990 and studies by Imperva in 2009 show that users have the same, simple, and easily hacked passwords as they did 20 years ago.

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, 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: #394