Hacked Passwords

We try to make our lives simpler by using online passwords that are easy to remember or having the same ones across multiple sites. Then, it happens — a hack. Suddenly, significant amounts of our personal information are at risk.

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The best way to keep this information secure is to put proactive strategies in place for password management and layered security controls. That means avoiding easy-to-guess options, using more complex passwords, and enforcing a password policy for changing passwords.


Why Is Password Security Important?

Having a secure password is essential to protecting your sensitive data. When combined with your unique user name, it helps verify your identity. In turn, that identity confirmation helps determine what information you can access. Confidential and complex passwords are a primary form of defense in preventing unauthorized data access that can lead to larger issues.


The Most Frequently Hacked Passwords Worldwide

Users tend to rely on passwords they can recall easily. That often results in passcodes others can easily guess or hack because they're too common. Frequently hacked passwords often include:

  1. Names of pets, family members or favorite fictional characters.
  2. Favorite sports teams.
  3. Countries, cities, musical artists and animals.
  4. The word “password” in the local language.
  5. Easy-to-type phrases, such as "qwerty" or “1111.”
What makes a password secure?

What Makes a Password Secure?

Generally speaking, more complex passwords are more secure. Key factors of a strong password include:

  1. How long it is:
    Longer passwords are more challenging to hack than shorter phrases.

  2. How unique it is:
    For more security, choose passwords that don't appear as an individual word in the dictionary.

  3. What it includes:
    Passwords should contain a mix of upper- and lowercase letters and numbers. Adding special symbols or emoticons can also enhance security.

  4. What it omits:
    Strong passwords shouldn't include personal information that someone else may know, such as your birthdate or anniversary.

Best Practices for Secure Passwords

Here are a few tips for selecting stronger and more secure passwords:

  • Combine three or more words you can remember with a number and a symbol:
    For example, you could use a line from a favorite movie or song and substitute "3" for "E" and "$" for "S."
  • Keep passwords confidential and don't write them down:
    Jotting down passwords on sticky notes or sharing them with unauthorized users increases your security risks.
  • Change passwords frequently:
    You should change passwords at least every three months — and any time you suspect someone knows a password you're using.
  • Use a password manager:
    Password managers help you access multiple applications with one master passphrase, so there's less to remember and a single sign-on experience.

Keep Passwords More Secure With Centre Technologies

While implementing these best practices for password security is a great start, enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) adds an additional layer of account security. Over 80% of breaches are due to credential theft. MFA blocks 99.9% of those attacks.

Centre Technologies is an award-winning Texas-based managed service provider with the skills and expertise to improve your security posture. Our secure managed services include a robust password manager as well as MFA compliance assurance as part of a comprehensive suite of benefits. Get expert IT management from online security experts by contacting us today.

Originally published on August 16, 2022

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About the Author

Cybersecurity and Compliance Cybersecurity and Compliance

Organizations entrust Centre with protecting their technology ecosystem and strengthening their security posture. Centre’s cybersecurity and compliance solutions delivers layered IT security to protect businesses’ employees, customers, and content from known and unknown threats. Through employee awareness training, detailed security assessments, and 24x7 threat containment, Centre is a trusted partner for businesses seeking comprehensive network and data protection. Learn more about Cybersecurity and Compliance »

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