SplashData compiled a list of the worst passwords of 2014 that is instructive. The company analyzed more than three million passwords that had been stolen and then posted on the web. The reason they are called “worst” is because they are the least secure. If you ever wondered how a friend’s email account at AOL or Yahoo! got hacked into, this is the reason: weak passwords that are easy to guess.
SplashData has a line of software products and services called SplashID Safe. I use SplashID as my database to store information about family credit cards, driver licenses, passports, etc. For passwords I use 1Password. There are many password managers available; just Google “password manager” and you will find them.
Password managers allow you to have passwords like &6^%aG(@[email protected]@ that no human can remember and that are very hard to guess. The only password you need to remember is the one you use to open your password manager, and that password is stored only on your computer and smartphone, not on the Internet. A feature that many password managers offer is to show you how many passwords you have that are more than six months old, how many are duplicate, and how many are weak. Your security is important and should be treated with respect and priority. It is worth investing some time to make sure you have strong passwords.
You can read the full story about SplashData’s analysis of the stolen passwords here. You may also want to read a story I wrote about my project to change all my 400+ passwords. I called the story Password Hell.