One of the most important things you and your family can do is use strong passwords to access your computers and web sites. According to data from a firm called Splashdata, which is being widely publicized today, the top-ten worst passwords are:
Once a cybercriminal has guessed your password and accessed your machine, or a website, such as your Facebook profile or your email account, you’re owned. Once access to one site is obtained, they can then parlay that access into breaking into other sites. They can also spam out malicious emails to your contacts or pillage your messages for personal information that can later be used against you, or to steal your identity.
Here are some tips for creating strong password, courtesy of the security team at Microsoft. According to them, a strong password:
- Is at least eight characters long.
- Does not contain your user name, real name, or company name.
- Does not contain a complete word.
- Is significantly different from previous passwords.
- Contains characters from each of the following four categories: Uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Are you following these rules? If you are not, it’s time for you, and your family, to get serious about using secure passwords.