If you use any of these passwords, change them immediately

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Choosing a password is not only a personal act, it is a very important one. There has to be some trade-off between using a password that is so difficult that no one would figure it out, and using one that can be remembered. According to Mailsuite, 2,200 cyberattacks a day are attempted and a strong password is a very important defensive tool. Even though mostΒ  know not to repeat passwords, 25% of people use the same password on more than 11 sites and apps. This is significant because once a hacker cracks the password on one site or app, he might be able to break into several more by using the same password.

Today, many sites and apps request that users create a password that includes mixed-case letters, numbers, and at least one special character. Still, there are several passwords that people use that are not safe. Mailsuite examined recent data breaches and found certain pop culture passwords that are too dangerous to use. To determine this, 300 million passwords exposed in data breaches were cross-referenced against a list of a list of more than 2,612 pop culture terms and 63,849 variations with differences in capitalization, punctuation, and spacing.

Each of these passwords was placed in a pop culture category (for example, movies, music, sports, video games, etc.) and Mailsuite counted the number of times each password appeared in a data breach. The higher the number, the more dangerous the password. With this process in mind, it turns out that Superman is the most dangerous pop culture password to use having appeared in 584,697 data breaches.

The most dangerous music-related pop culture password to use is Eminem as the rapper’s name was discovered in 286,263 data breaches. If you use the name of an actor as a password, do not choose Zac Efron. The actor’s name showed up 24,268 times in data breaches. The most dangerous password to use based on video games is Minecraft, which was seen in 215,934 data breaches.

If you’re a sports fan, the most successful sports franchise of all time makes a poor password. Of course, we are referring to the New York Yankees. The team might have won 27 MLB championships, but the team name was discovered in 170,2412 data breaches.

If you want to create a secure password, create one that is at least 14 characters long. But use a combination of upper and lower case letters and special characters. A 14-character password comprised of only numbers can be cracked in under one hour. Also, do not use a date for your password, especially a birthdate, wedding anniversary, or any date that can be easily looked up. Don’t use personal information as a password either, such as the name of a current or past pet.

Amazingly, one in five people use the word ‘password’ as a password. Do not do this, obviously, and do not use a word that can be found in a dictionary. Such a password is vulnerable to a “dictionary attack” that uses software to run the gamut of words from A to Z to get into your account.

Never write down your password and never share it with anyone. You should change your passwords every three months.


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