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Identity theft: simple passwords make it easy for hackers to access your information

hackers stealing your password Posted on November 24, 2011

Vancouver Sun –

If your email password is “password,” or “123123,” you may want to change it immediately to avoid identity theft, says U.S. based Internet security company SplashData.

“Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords,” said SplashData’s CEO, Morgan Slain.

“Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft,” he said.

“If you have a password that is short or common or a word in the dictionary, it’s like leaving your door open for identity thieves.”

SplashData gathered the most commonly used passwords from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers.

The company’s report also recommended using unique passwords for each secure site, such as email, Facebook, online banking and entertainment sites.

Another tip, to make complicated passwords easier to remember, is to use words separated by dashes or underscores, a mix of upper and lower case letters, and a liberal use of punctuation, such as “i-LOVE-cats!” or “gohabs-GO.”

In a news release, Slain said: “Just a little bit more sophistication in choosing passwords will go a long way toward making you safer online.”

THE 25 WORST PASSWORDS

The “25 Worst Passwords of the Year” for 2011, according to SplashData, are:

password master

123456 sunshine

12345678 ashley

qwerty bailey

abc123 passw0rd

monkey shadow

1234567 123123

letmein 654321

trustno1 superman

dragon qazwsx

baseball michael

111111 football

iloveyou;
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