When cash machines first came out, a lot of people were guilty of setting up personal identification numbers that were as simple as 1-2-3. Literally. Or if the machine required a six-digit identification number, the user would just add three more numbers and make it 1-2-3-4-5-6.
It may sound stupid and funny, but there were people who really did not bother coming up with more creative combination of numbers. Even when they did, they would make use of obvious combinations, like the date of their birthdays or anniversaries.
With the further advancement of technology, computers and emails became common and necessary parts of our lives. These would require passwords as well, but this time, instead of simple identification numbers, people could make use of letters in the alphabet, punctuation, or any combination of letters, numbers and punctuation. The importance of these passwords cannot be overstated, as computers usually contain practically all the pertinent information of our lives, from work materials to credit card numbers and other personal details.
As a result, hacking has become a full-fledged industry, with hackers trying to infiltrate computers, emails and networks in order to obtain information that can then be used for illegal activities. Credit card and cash machine details can be used to allow these thieves to purchase items from online stores. Hacking into emails allows them to contact your friends and acquaintances, which some use to solicit “help” in the guise that you are in trouble. Even famous celebrities have not been immune, with actresses like Scarlett Johansson having their intimate and private pictures getting stolen and posted online.
So what should you do to prevent these occurrences? First of all, do not share your password with anyone else. That password is yours and yours alone and you should be the only one who should know about it. Second, do not write down your password and worse, leave it just lying around somewhere. A lot of people are guilty of this, with some even jotting it down on post-it notes and sticking it to the computer screen.
Lastly, be creative when setting up your password. The number of combinations of characters that can be used is practically unlimited, so do not confine yourself to something expected and common. Particularly, you should avoid the top 10 most hackable passwords, as determined by a study made by the Internet search giant Google.
10. Having the word “password” as your password
You may think it is cute and funny, but the problem is you are far from unique. There are millions of other users who think the same way too. A password does not even have to be an actual word, but to use something as obvious as “password” as your password is simply unforgivable. You could have used the character @ to replace a, and the number zero to replace the letter o, but even those replacements are too predictable for hackers. Try something better, and better yet, try harder.
9. The name of your spouse, partner or significant other
Sure, you may find it romantic. You try to explain that you simply want your special partner to be a part of all aspects of your life, including your passwords. There must be a better way of showing your romantic side than this. After all, if you do get hacked, you certainly will not find anything romantic about it.
8. The name of your favorite sports team
You wear your passion on your sleeves, and your passwords. You want the entire world to know that you root for the Rangers, the Dodgers, the Bulls and the Cowboys. You cheer for them with all your might and with all your heart. Your hacker will also cheer once he finds out about this, as you just provided him with an easy target.
7. The name of your favorite holiday
Thanksgiving and Christmas are such wonderful times of the year. They are times to see your families and to catch up with old friends. Mother’s Day will always be looked at with fondness because it is all about dear mom. All these wonderful events are also looked at with glitzy eyes by hackers, who know that holiday names are some of the most common passwords being used.
6. The name of your hometown
In this hustle bustle world, one will always look back to simpler times in your old hometown when everything was just perfect. You probably use it as your password in order to remind you where you came from and to keep you close to your roots. Hackers know these and will certainly try the name of your hometown in order to break into your accounts.
5. The name of another family member
Even if you are part of the family of 19 Kids and Counting, that means you only have 18 choices for your password. How hard will it be for a hacker to get to know the names of all your siblings, or of your parents, or of your favorite aunt, uncle or cousin? It probably won’t even take a minute to try out all those names as possible passwords, so do not use something as obvious as this.
4. The name of your child
Your child is your pride and joy. You just want to keep the child in your arms forever, to stay with you always, to always be by your side. However, the child does not need to be in your password. It is one of the first passwords a hacker to your account would try to use.
3. The birthday of a family member
2. Important dates, like anniversaries
Your wife is probably all over you because you keep forgetting your anniversary. In order to remember, you use it as your password. This is a very bad idea. While you get your wife off your case, you will allow the hacker into your account.
1. The name of your pet
Ever loveable and ever loyal, they never complain and they are always by your side. They don’t argue and they always follow your command. Don’t let any bad memory come out of your association with your pets by using it as a password. Hackers know just how fond people are of their animals.