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Being Smart About Passwords

You have no doubt heard that some Russian hacker broke into the LinkedIn computer mainframe and stole more than 6.5 million passwords.

• If you were a member of LinkedIn, you probably raced online to change your password, not even taking the time to figure out whether or not you were one of the accounts affected by this breach.

This anonymous hacker once again reminded the world that there is no such thing as a totally secure website, and that any bit of info that you have online is susceptible to the world of hacking.

Another thing that this situation reminding us of is just how bad a lot of the passwords are out there.

When looking at the list of passwords that were taken from the LinkedIn site, it is quickly noticeable that people are not being smart with what they pick.

• Most sites remind you several times that you need to pick a password that is strong and not easily guessed by those who have even basic knowledge about you.

• If you aren't taking some time to really think of a password that isn't easily decipherable, you are really playing with fire, especially in this day and age of easy hacking.

It is surprising that here in 2012, people are still using successive number codes as passwords, but as the LinkedIn hacking taught us, that bad habit is still alive and well.

• For those who think that 1234, 12345, 123456, or 1234567 are great passwords, you aren't just playing with fire, you are asking for hackers to take your information.

The classic "12345" try is the first trick that a hacker is going to try to get into your sight because, well, there are people who are still going to do it.

If you really want to do a whole number code, pick something that is completely random.

Choosing your birthday, your address or even your old phone number are number combinations are among the worst passwords you can choose.

• Trialing close being the successive number passwords are those who use a single world as their password. Among the hacked passwords were a large amount of those that are made up of three letter words.

Not only is using "job", "god", or "the" as your password a terrible idea, it is also incredibly lazy.

• If you are using a three letter word, you might as well leave your profile public and just have anyone have access to it.

• This also goes for those brilliant folks who want to use specific four letter words as their passwords.

• You might feel like a rebel for using the F-word as your password, but the truth is that it is something that hackers are going to pick up rather easily.

Of course, using a full word that is more than three or four letters isn't any smarter. Among the "brilliant" passwords found on LinkedIn were

"princess", "connect", "dragon", "soccer", "michael" and "jordan".

• While these passwords are easy to remember, they also don't do you much good.

• Hackers are able to figure out full words much easier than you could imagine.

• If you are looking to use full words for your password, you are always better off using at least four successive words in a row.

While you can make them into a short sentence, the last thing you don't want to make it too obvious.

"ILoveYouFrank" will always be more easily hacked than


With that said, the best passwords are always going to be random combinations of letters and numbers.

If you can remember something like "gy316dheg387a536" then you should always go with it.

Being Smart About Passwords  

You have no doubt heard that some Russian hacker broke into the LinkedIn computer mainframe and stole more than 6.5 million passwords. If y...

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