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posted by Joel Kight in Lifestyle

How secure is your password?

October 29, 2012

After working for 15 years in a bank, I am very sensitive to information security.  Banks no longer just protect physical cash, they protect information. 

Even at the Banner-Herald, we use passwords and have information security policies to protect employees, readers and sources.

I was recently alarmed to see that some of the top passwords still being used by people in general are just bad passwords.  The website splashdata.com recently released a list of the top 25 worst passwords. Here are the top ten:
1. password 
2, 123456 
3. 12345678 
4. abc123 
5. qwerty 
6. monkey 
7. letmein 
8. dragon 
9. 111111 
10. baseball 

Read more about the Top 25 Worst Passwords at abcnews.com.

If you are using any of these passwords, please change it today.

Here is a little trick I learned while working in banking.  Choose a sentence and use only the first letter of each word and if the word starts with a vowel, change it to a number.  Here is an example: The cow is not full of hay. The password I would derive from this sentence is TC1NF0H!  I always add an exclamation point or a dollar sign at the end just to make it more secure.  If you can remember a sentence, you can remember your password.  You can also do the same for words. Take the word October. You can make this a password, too.  I would make that password 0CT0B3R!. 

For some other ways to be more secure with your password, check out this dallasnews.com blog. 

Does anyone remember the days when the IT guy just assigned you a password and you were not able to change it?

I remember my first passwords in the early 90s were usually something silly like "password" or "Kight123456." After working in a bank and seeing the harm information breaches can cause, I am very careful with my passwords.

Do you have one password for everything?  Do you change it up for each use?

Do you have any tips for others about ways to remember passwords but make them hard for others to guess?

 

 

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