NordVPN Gives Advice on How to Create Strong Passwords
March 14, 2019. For the fifth year in a row, the world’s most popular passwords are “123456” and “password.” Despite the constant reminders from cybersecurity and digital privacy experts, people still tend to create weak and easily hackable passwords. It is estimated that about 3% of internet users have used “123456” and approximately 10% used at least one of the top 25 worst passwords.
Such findings come from the software company SpalshData, which releases the list of the Top 100 Worst Passwords each year. To compile the list, the company evaluated more than 5 million leaked passwords accessible on the dark web. Such password databases mostly come from users in Europe and North America.
“Over the years, an enormous database of private user information has emerged as a consequence of the various data leaks and breaches. And lately it seems that we can’t go more than a few days without hearing about yet another one,” says Daniel Markuson, a digital privacy expert at NordVPN. “With access to such masses of sensitive data, cybercriminals can use it in numerous ways. That’s why using the same login details for different services, websites, and platforms is extremely dangerous.”
Here are the ten worst passwords of 2018, which you should never use for your accounts, according to the Top 100 Worst Passwords:
How to create a strong password
A few tips from NordVPN’s Daniel Markuson on how to create a strong password that you won’t forget in ten minutes:
- Never use short passwords. The more different characters the password has, the longer it takes for a hacker or other shady cybercriminal to break it.
- Make your passwords complex. Use upper and lower case letters, symbols, special characters, and numbers to create strong passwords.
- Use long passphrases. Using dictionary words is not advisable, but creating a combination of 6-7 random words is a good method. A combination like “left elephant shoes purple rugby vacation” is difficult to guess because of its length and randomness, but easier to remember.
- Use the mnemonics technique. Create memorable phrases using the mnemonics technique. For example, create a sentence like “I love to eat pizza with friends for fun!” and use it as a mnemonic to create a password “1L2epwf4F.”
- Get a password manager. Strong passwords are difficult to remember, so using a password manager is a good idea. A few of the most popular ones are LastPass and 1Password.
Using these tips will instantly improve your passwords and make them stronger. Strong passwords are especially important for services and websites where you share the most sensitive information. This includes online banking, shopping sites, home Wi-Fi, personal and work email, as well as some social media accounts.