Is Your Password Secure?

With the occurrence of Cybercrime ever on the rise, it is imperative that we ensure our passwords are secure. Here’s what you need to know.
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Published: Tuesday, January 24th 2017
General
Internet and device security is coming under increased scrutiny, as the world we live in becomes more and more connected. We're now living in a world where it's not just our laptops and computers that connect to the internet. It's our watches, fitness bands, TVs, fridges, washing machines, speakers, lightbulbs, and even our cars. With so much connectivity, and the fact that we're storing so much personal information online and on our devices, you'd think that we'd be getting better at creating superior, more secure passwords. It turns out, however, that this is not the case.
CLICK BELOW to read up about the new Cybercrime Bill in South Africa. unnamed-2 

The SplashData Worst Password List

For the sixth consecutive year, SplashData has compiled their annual report of the Worst Passwords, which is based on more than five million leaked passwords during the year. Some of the most commonly used passwords include three variations of the word "password". This includes “passw0rd” and “password1”. This, along with “123456”, are the two most commonly used passwords.
“Making minor modifications to an easily guessable password does not make it secure. Hackers will take advantage of these tendencies,” says Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, Inc. “Our hope is that by researching and putting out this list each year, people will realize how risky it is to use these common logins, and will take steps to strengthen their passwords and use different passwords for different websites.”

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The Worst Passwords Of 2016

Star Wars-themed choices including “princess” and “solo” continue to keep the Force alive on the Worst Passwords list for the second year, while sports terms have dropped off. The only sport to make it into the Top 25 was “football” in the number five spot. There are new appearances on the list which include “hottie”, “loveme”, and “flower”. One other new entry is “zaq1zaq1". This is clearly based on tapping keys on the left column on a standard keyboard. Simple numerical passwords remain on the list with five of the top ten passwords consisting of only numbers.
Rank Password Change from 2015
1 123456 Unchanged
2 password Unchanged
3 12345 Up 2
4 12345678 Down 1
5 football Up 2
6 qwerty Down 2
7 1234567890 Up 5
8 1234567 Up 1
9 princess Up 12
10 1234 Down 2
11 login Up 9
12 welcome Down 1
13 solo Up 1
14 abc123 Down 1
15  admin  New
16 121212  New
17 flower  New
18 passw0rd  Up 6
19 dragon  Down 3
20  sunshine  New
21  master  Down 4
22  hottie  New
23  loveme  New
24  zaq1zaq1  New
25 password1  New
 

3 Tips For Creating a Secure Password

With just over 10% of people using at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list - and nearly 4% of people using the worst two ('password' and '123456') - here are three tips to consider when creating a new password:
  1. Use a password with eight or more characters, ensuring that it's a mixture of numbers, letters and other allowable characters (emojis do not work in a password).
  2. Avoid using the same username / password combination for multiple websites.
  3. Use a password manager to help generate random passwords, as well as store them for you.