Password Security Tune-Up


Securely manage your passwords this year.

If you have a yellow Post-it note on your computer screen right now with your “all purpose” password written on it, this article is for you. It’s time to get serious about your security.

Gone are the days when a hacked password meant a little embarrassment. A weak password these days can mean a compromised bank account, exposed health records, income tax information, and private family media.

Password Facts:

Luke Wroblewski of Luke W Ideation & Design offers the following enlightening facts about password usage and security:

  • The average person has between 7 and 25 accounts that they log into every day.
  • People report authenticating about 15 times in a typical work day on average.
  • 86% of U.S. companies use password authentication.
  • 70% of people do not use a unique password for each Web site.
  • Around 82% of people have forgotten a password used on a Web site.
  • 4.28% of Yahoo users forgot their passwords over a three month period.
  • Password recovery is the number one request to help desks for intranets that don’t have single sign-on portal capabilities.
  • The top 5 passwords at Gawker (based on released records) accounted for roughly 1 in 4 passwords. The top password, 123456, came in at over 3,000 uses within the dataset of 188,279.
  • A survey of 34,000 MySpace passwords revealed that the most common were “password1″, “abc123″, “myspace1″, and “password”.

(For a complete list of sources for the above facts, visit Luke W’s blog.)

Generating Strong Passwords

Want to make your passwords virtually unhackable? Well, stop making up passwords yourself. One option is the free Strong Password Generator:

You can customize the length of the password as well as whether or not the password can include symbols.

Naturally, the password generated will be very hard to remember. So how to keep track of these new bulletproof passwords?

Never Forget a Password Again

Don’t write down your new passwords on Post-it notes! Why not use a secure password management application to remember your passwords for you? 1Password by Agile Bits is worth every penny. Not only will it keep your passwords safe, but you can also use it to login to your sites. It works on almost every operating system and mobile device, too:

Learn more about 1Password today.

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