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Hack me if you can

Feb 1st, 2016

There’s no denying it: digital is slowly but surely taking over our lives and we’re hooked on all things internet- and technology-related. Importantly, more and more websites and services request that we create accounts or profiles and hand over at least some of our precious personal information. What happens when one of your digital accounts gets hacked? In a nutshell, it can lead to one of your worst nightmares. Not only is your privacy violated, but hacked passwords are often leaked into the hacker community or sold; so if you’re using the same login details for several accounts, you may be in huge trouble!

Splash Data, a US-based security solutions provider, has recently released their 4th and now annual report on the top 100 most popular passwords used in 2015. In other words, the very worst passwords you could ever consider using! I’ll be completely honest with you, that list is absolutely terrifying, and I say that without the slightest shadow of a doubt.

A whopping 3.3 million leaked passwords from last year serve as a basis for their list, and even though I’m well-aware of how weak and not-at-all-secure my gran’s passwords are, I still somehow find myself in utter disbelief. How did we manage to ignore all the advice on our digital security that pops up regularly in the news everywhere, accompanied with the horrifying accounts of worst-case password hacking scenarios? Are we really that fearless and ready to unleash the cyber attack nightmare upon ourselves?

What stands out from this list is the variation on the password ‘1234’ in the top 10 most common passwords, where digits in a consecutive order have been added. Yes, I really do mean 12345, -6, -7, and so on!

Surprisingly, in the top two places of Splash Data’s list are ‘123456’ and ‘password’. If you’re logging into your online banking account using one of those two please take a minute right away to change that, there are no more excuses, and I can assure you reading the rest of this post can wait…

My other favourites from the list include: letmein, welcome, master, login, and starwars which made its first-ever appearance on this list! Football, baseball, and first names seem to also be fairly popular.

There’s plenty of advice available on how to secure your online presence and strengthen your password, so do check you’re not leaving yourself open to attacks by unscrupulous characters.

What’s your take on Splash Data’s report? Do you also feel that we’re all doomed after reading this? We’d love to hear from you!

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