World’s Worst Passwords

Internet securityFound this posted on Yahoo! Finance today.

25 “Worst Passwords” of 2011 Revealed

According to the article, a good password “…should contain at least eight characters. It should contain a mix of four different types of characters - upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters such as !@#$%^&*,;" … It should not be a name, a slang word, or any word in the dictionary. It should not include any part of your name or your e-mail address.”

Keep in mind, though, that some Web sites will not accept certain special characters, so don’t get your heart set on just one password.

Another good tip from the article: Try turning a sentence into a password. “For example, ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’ might become nilmDOWN2s, a 10-character password that won't be found in any dictionary.”

Here’s a great video on developing safe passwords from Explania.com. It reinforces the tips in the article, and also contains a nice tool to help you test your new password idea at the end of the animation.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Note that the article, which has a much more recent publication date, suggests that it might be okay to write down your password – or at least a hint to your password – and carry with you so you don’t forget it. The video, which has been around longer than the article, suggests that you not write down your password.

My advice (for what it’s worth): Do what works best for you, but don’t write down your passwords and put them on a sticky note on your monitor or under your keyboard, etc., and don’t write down your credit card PIN numbers and keep them in your wallet with your credit cards. Common sense and convenience do not always walk hand-in-hand when it comes to this stuff. 

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