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Banishing Bad Passwords

In the very early days of computing most of us stuck with just one password to remember. Now I have a couple dozen. That's because each site or service seems to require a different level of password. And when passwords expire you have to come up with a new one.

Forgetting a password is a fear that ranks right up with spiders, public speaking and meeting future in-laws. That's why so many choose such weak passwords -- weak passwords are easy to remember.

SplashData has been tracking the worst and it recently released 2012's 25 worst passwords.

As expected, "password" is the worst followed by the near twins "123456" and "12345678." What I didn't expect to see on the list is monkey, dragon and Ashley.

SplashData has the usual advice: to make the passwords complex and perhaps use a phrase so it's complex but easy to remember.

Redmond Report readers have their own advice:

"I suggest to our people is to use a sentence like mydogFid0,has4coldnose," wrote Ed from Maryland. "Easy to remember and could easily be modified to relate to the system or Web site on which it is used. The problem I run into is limitations on password length. Only 8 characters for the bank? Give me a break!"

Then John from Pennsylvania chimed in: "I have at least 10 passwords to maintain at work and each one has different rules and limitations on their creation. You better bet that I've figured out how to reuse the same one with minor mods for over a year before I need to make a major change."

How do remember all your passwords? Best advice can be sent to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 11/26/2012 at 1:19 PM


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