10 most common passwords: Tip – Don’t use these

Leada Gore
al.com (TNS)

If someone wanted to access your personal information online, would it be hard? Or could everything a hacker wanted to know be just a few clicks or keystrokes away?

Guarding your information online includes multiple steps but one of the big ones is using a variety of complex passwords that can’t be easily guessed. That’s not what happens most times, however, as cybersecurity firm Lookout found in its analysis of the Top 10 most common passwords found for use by hackers on the dark web, meaning they are the easiest to hack:

Here’s Lookout’s list of the top 10 passwords:

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • qwerty
  • password
  • 12345
  • 12345678
  • 111111
  • 1234567
  • 123123
  • qwerty123

Lookout said 80% of consumers have had their email leaked on the dark web at some point.

More:York Against The Grain: From office life to home on the range, Hellam family finds community in farming

More:Rain could cause localized flooding this weekend, forecasters warn

More:Man dies following car accident on Route 74: state police

How to protect yourself

Here are some identity theft protection tips from the Identity Theft Resource Center:

  • Use a unique username and passphrase for all your online accounts.
  • Make sure your browser is secure.
  • Do not give out your personal identifying information (PII) or financial information through social media platforms, by text or through email.
  • Use a digital wallet.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi unless you can use a Virtual Private Network.
  • Make sure your social media profiles are set to private.
  • Review companies’ privacy policies to understand how your data will be used, stored and protected. Ask what information they have to hold and what can be deleted.
  • Use an authenticator app for two-factor authentication.
  • Do not click on unexpected pop-ups in your browser or on your device. Also, don’t click on any links in unknown emails, texts or social media posts.

More on passwords from the Federal Trade Commission:

  • Make sure your password is long and strong. That means at least 12 characters. Making a password longer is generally the easiest way to make it stronger. Consider using a passphrase of random words so that your password is more memorable, but avoid using common words or phrases. If the service you are using does not allow long passwords, you can make your password stronger by mixing uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Don’t reuse passwords you’ve used on other accounts. Use different passwords for different accounts. That way, if a hacker gets your password for one account, they can’t use it to get into your other accounts.
  • Use multi-factor authentication when it’s an option. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring something in addition to a password to log in to your account. This is called multi-factor authentication. The “something extra” you need to log in to your account fall into two categories: Something you have — like a passcode you get via an authentication app or a security key. Something you are — like a scan of your fingerprint, your retina, or your face.
  • Consider a password manager. Most people have trouble keeping track of all of their passwords. The longer and more complicated a password is, the stronger it is, but a longer password can also be more difficult to remember. Consider storing your passwords and security questions in a reputable password manager. To find a reputable password manager, search independent review sites, and talk to friends and family for ones that they use. Make sure to use a strong password to secure the information in your password manager.
  • Pick security questions only you know the answer to. If a site asks you to answer security questions, avoid providing answers that are available in public records or easily found online, like your zip code, birthplace, or your mother’s maiden name. And don’t use questions with a limited number of responses that attackers can easily guess — like the color of your first car. You can even use nonsense answers to make guessing more difficult — but if you do, make sure you can remember what you use.
  • Change passwords quickly if there’s a breach. If a company tells you there was a data breach where a hacker could have gotten your password, change the password you use with that company right away, and on any account that uses a similar password.