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.