Best Practices for Password Security

The inherent problem with data security is human error. Far too often, consumers use weak passwords and reuse their passwords across multiple sites, leaving them vulnerable to identity theft and fraud in the event of a breach.

Each year, password manager company SplashData compiles a list of the top 10 worst passwords. And it’s no surprise that this year, 123456 and password topped the list for the second year in a row. While not much has changed, the good news is that consumers are becoming more aware of bad password practices and how it can impact their vulnerability in the event of a breach.

Mark Burnet, a reporter with Ars Technica, ran analytics on SplashData’s Top Worst password list and found that a mere 0.6 percent of users in the data set use the word “password” or “123456” – down from 8.5 percent in 2011. This is a significant improvement.

If you happen to use one of SplashData’s worst passwords, here are some tips to create a stronger password:

  • Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • The longer, the better. Create a password that is at least eight characters long.
  • Don’t use easily recognizable phrases. Even if the password is long, it won’t do you much good if it is easy to crack.
  • Use a password manager if you have trouble keeping track of long, complex passwords.

Be sure to practices safe password habits, as it is one of the simplest ways to avoid identity theft and fraud in the event of a breach.