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Other Editors Say…

Hacker Heaven: Millions Of People Opt For Easy But Insecure Internet Passwords

If you’re among the millions of people using “password” as your password for some site or another, you’re among the lamest Internet users on the planet. The same goes for “passw0rd,” by the way.

A company that develops software applications, including one to help manage passwords, recently published a list of the 25 most common– and, therefore, least secure– passwords on the Net.

Number 1 on the list is, not surprisingly, “password.” Other dangerously common codes include “ 123456,” “qwerty” and “letmein.” Those who use “trustno1” may have the right attitude, but their password is weak nonetheless. And people who use “111111” really aren’t trying, are they?

But, can anyone blame them? The modern burden of creating and remembering dozens of passwords for websites and computer programs is hard enough when one keeps to the obvious, easy-to-remember ones that the company so disparages. Keeping track of obscure and complex ones is that much harder.

Still, the danger the company points out is real.

Facebook made news among Internet aficionados recently by acknowledging, for the first time, just how much the site is under constant attack by hackers: In the average 24-hour period, more than 1 billion people log on to Facebook, and about 600,000 of them are imposters trying to see other users’ messages, photos and other personal information.

Tips for creating moresecure passwords include everything that would make users less likely to remember them: Use different types of characters, including numerals and special characters, when possible; go with eight or more characters when allowed, and– the real killer for many lazy Internet users– don’t use the same password for a lot of different sites.

In other words, make your online life as difficult as possible.

The solution could lie in creating a single, secure file for storing one’s passwords. Not surprisingly, the company has an app for that, as do many other vendors of passwordmanagement programs.

Free sites explain how to create one’s own secure file of passwords. Naturally, the easy thing– typing them into a simple file on your computer– is a terrible idea, too.

The bad-password list might not do much for a lot of people’s sense of cybersecurity. But at least they’ll know they aren’t alone.–Columbus Dispatch

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