Password Management

June 17, 2024

By Jennifer Yeagley

Everything seems to need a password now, but how do I remember yet another one????  Honestly, so many people don’t bother with a hard or unique password that it is a huge security risk.  With so many personal devices entering the workplace, the risk is no longer a personal one and businesses are getting impacted.  IoT (Internet of Things) attacks, which are attacks on endpoint devices like cell phones and tablets, have quadrupled in the last 5 years.  Why?  One reason is the lack of strong passwords.  In fact, the top 5 passwords unlock up to 10% of the world’s devices.  So, first, play your part in becoming secure and STOP using common passwords!

Top 10 passwords of 2024 (so far) according to a study done by Cybernews:

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • qwerty
  • password
  • 12345
  • qwerty123
  • 1q2w3e
  • 12345678
  • 111111
  • 1234567890

They then went further to look at the link of common names, sports teams, curse words (yes), cities, seasons, months, and food.  In fact, out of 15,212,645,925 passwords analyzed, only 2,217,015,490 were unique.  That’s only about 14.6% of all the passwords were unique!  Aren’t we told to make a new password for everything and have it be difficult to decode?  Ok, so there were only 15.2 billion passwords in the study.  How did they get those passwords?  Data breaches.  Yeah, these were passwords that failed.  DO NOT USE THEM!!

Alright, so how do we do better?  Here are some simple guidelines to create better passwords.

  • Make it longer – Currently, most passwords have 8 or fewer characters. Can you make it 12, 15, or more?
  • Mix it up – Use capital and lower-case letters with numbers and symbols.
  • Leave out the personal information – Do not include your birthdate, name, kids’ names, or other information that would link back to you.
  • Consider mnemonic devices or nonsensical – Password crackers try word combinations, so using a string of random letters or disconnected words in a phrase make it more difficult to break.
  • Use password generators and password managers – If you want the safest passwords, let a generator put up something random. They are impossible to remember, but that’s where a password management system can support you.  There are several ways to manage passwords, from written, to spreadsheets, to a browser add on to track them all.

At the end of the day, we must start acknowledging the changing times.  In the last 30 years, we have advanced tremendously, but so have the criminals.  We shouldn’t make it easy for them with a sad password choice.

Most Common Passwords 2024 – Is Yours on the List? | CyberNews