I’m sure most of you have heard about the head of the Democratic National Committee’s email being compromised after someone sent a scam email asking for his password. Did you hear what that password allegedly was?  You guessed it: password!  But guess what?  He’s far from alone. According to the folks at Keeper Security, ‘password’ is the 8th most popular password used to protect accounts in 2016.  The most popular? Good old ‘123456.’

passwordcropped

Let’s run down the winners (or in this case losers) of 2016.

10. 987654321

9. 123123

8. password

7. 1234567

6. 1234567890

5. 111111

4. 12345678

3. qwerty

2. 123456789

1. 123456

This is what I like to call an example of leaving your back door unlocked. Even if your back door is unlocked, people shouldn’t come in and rob you. And it’s possible that you could leave that door unlocked for years and years and never get robbed, but someone only has to try to open that door once to get inside.

With passwords this simple, you not only put yourself at risk from hackers, but also from snoopy friends and relatives who happen to know your email address.

There are two steps you should take right not to help secure your account.

1. Come up with secure, complex password that contains upper and lower case letters, numbers, and irregular characters like exclamation points. Make sure it’s 8 or more characters long.

2. Enable two-factor authentication if it’s available for the account. That means anyone trying to log in must also answer a security question or reply with a code that’s been sent to your phone or an alternate email account.

~ Cynthia