6 On Your Side Answers: Are there some passwords to avoid?

6 On Your Side Answers: Are there some passwords to avoid?


6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Many computer users today have to keep track of dozens of passwords for online services, network accounts, and websites.

Some users write their passwords on a piece of paper, while others choose the same passwords for different applications.

Alicia from Knoxville asks, "Are there some passwords I should avoid?"

Yes, there are a series of passwords that are used repeatedly by millions of people. Cyber thieves know this and the passwords are the first ones crooks try.

The most commonly used passwords, according to an annul study, is the word "password." That is followed by "1234566" and "12345678."

For years, security experts have been urging people to change these passwords to more secure versions.

High profile hackers also reveal that "abc123," "qwerty," and "monkey" are next on the list of frequently-used passwords.

Security experts says if any of these passwords are on the list you use, change them immediately.

Here are some suggestions for choosing a secure password:

  • Choose a password with at least eight characters
  • The longer the password, the longer it will take someone to crack it
  • Don't use the names of your children, spouses, pets, or birth dates
  • Try to avoid using real words
  • Use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, use numbers and even special characters, such as the percentage sign

Even though each year hacker tools get more sophisticated, thieves tend to prefer easy targets.

Just a little more effort in choosing better passwords will go a long way toward making you safer online.

You can Don Dare's 6 On Your Side Answers every Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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