Passwords: STILL A Security Concern

by | Jul 19, 2011 | Practical Tips, Security

If you’re online you’ve got passwords. In all likelihood you’ve got multiple passwords you need to remember.  If you’re like me you’re “logging in” to everything from your office computer to your microwave.  While it may be difficult to remember all of the different username / password combinations you should really resist the urge to have simple, easy to guess passwords.  Here’s yet another reminder.  

I recently ran across this post from Microsoft software architect Troy Hunt called A brief Sony password analysis.  Troy’s post was in response to a recent  security breach at Sony which left over 77 MILLION customer accounts exposed.  Mr. Hunt reviewed the data that was hacked and came up with some interested tidbits:

  • 93% of the passwords were between 6 and 10 characters in length
  • 50% of passwords were lowercase only.
  • Only 64% of passwords could not be found in a standard dictionary

Think your password is unique?  If you’re using one of these it’s in the top 25 most used passwords. You should change it 😉

  • password
  • 123456
  • abc123

Also, please don’t think you’re being clever by using your kid’s names, the street you live on or your high school mascot.  These are pretty common password combos that should be changed immediately.

The best passwords are those that are difficult to guess, are mixed case (they contain both upper and lower case letters), contain a number and a “special” character (IE: !, @, #, $, %, ^, &, etc.).  These types of passwords may be a bit more difficult to remember, but they’re also MUCH more difficult for someone to crack.  Curious how good your password is?  Check out to see just how well you’re doing.

For further reading on password security please see below: