Weak passwords:

There’s no excuse for them yet we still see so many people using them. It is often disregarded as unimportant and a result of not having a nominal level of security education and awareness. Weak passwords and password reuse account for over 70% of all computer and internet account breaches. People hate creating passwords and even more so, have a tough time remembering them. It’s a simple function of human nature that we call “password fatigue.”

Last year, a survey was published with the most common leaked passwords during data breaches that occurred throughout 2015. Once again, “123456” and “password” dominated the top of the list and new ones appeared, such as “skywalker”, “princess” and “login”. While many consumers are attempting to use longer passwords, they remain so simple that most hackers could guess them.

As we celebrate “National Change Your Password Day,” it only makes sense to remind people everywhere that most online breaches are caused by weak or stolen passwords. Every time there’s a new breach, your personal data is leaked to cyber criminals who can use it as bait for phishing scams, to steal your credit card information, social security number, tax information or more. And once you’ve clicked on that link – accidentally or not – hackers can now implant a keystroke logger onto your laptop or mobile device, embed malware and ultimately steal your information, money and worse, your identity.

The idea that computer users should use long, complex passwords is one of computer security’s golden rules and something we believe deeply in at Aginto.

They need to be long and complex because it’s their length, complexity and uniqueness that determines how difficult they are to crack.

Passwords are like the keys to your castle and it doesn’t matter how strong your walls are if the lock on the door is easily picked.

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With today being National Change Your Password Day, it’s important to remind ourselves that we should have strong passwords, and should change them regularly.

Set a reminder in your calendar a few times a year, or coincide it with your Spring & Fall house cleaning plans. If you have a particularly high security position, then changing them as often as you change the air filters in your home is a good idea.

What Make’s a Good Password?

The more complicated and lengthy a password is, the harder it will be for hackers to guess.

Don’t include your kids’ names, birthdays or references to any other personal details. Hackers routinely troll Facebook and Twitter for clues to passwords like these. Obvious and default passwords such as “Password123” are also bad, as are words commonly found in dictionaries, as these are used in programs hackers have to automate guesses.

The key aspects of a strong password are length (the longer the better); a mix of letters (upper and lower case), numbers, and symbols; with no ties to your personal information, and no dictionary words.

Use a Password Generator

Using a password generator is your best bet at staying one step ahead of individuals who are trying to steal your information. Hostgator has a free generator that you can find here:

Hostgator Password Generator: www.hostgator.com/passwords

Play With Your Keyboard

1qazdrfvgy7, is really hard to remember unless you know that it’s a W on your keyboard -that’s a lot easier to remember! You can make letters, shapes, and more just ’drawing’ on the keyboard. With my last name starting a W, I could easily remember this as a password, while making sure it’s pretty long and random. But, it’s not my password, so don’t get any bright ideas.

So this year, make it a point to no longer use these easy to guess passwords, and instead, choose a complex set of passwords. Further, try not to use something that’s so easy to remember. You can use apps like LastPass, 1Password, or Keeper to keep a hold of your multiple site and account logins.

You’re now ready to create your own strong, long, memorable mixed-character passwords using one or more of these tricks. Or, create your own system. Now, share the tips with others, but don’t share your passwords!

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