So it has been a month since the uproar of LinkedIn being hacked and millions of passwords being stolen. In the week that followed, everyone was talking about password security. But did you DO anything about it?
Like most things, once the initial shock has ended, we go about our business as usual. Do any of these excuses sound familiar?
- If I change my password I’ll never remember it.
- It is my special way to honor the memory of my dead hamster “Harvey” every day.
- I switched the “o” in password to a zero, so it can’t be found in a dictionary.
- No one is ever going to hack my account.
All kidding aside, here is why you need secure passwords. The problem is not that LinkedIn got hacked; that is not really private data anyway. The problem is most people use the same passwords over and over again. If a hacker targets e-Harmony or LinkedIn and gets your email and password, that info may also access your back account, PayPal, credit cards, work information, or other more sensitive info.
Just for reference…here is the 2011 list of WORST passwords by Splashdata. If you see your password here, stop reading and go change it…NOW!
Lastly, there are programs to help you. LastPass, for instance, will generate and remember complex passwords and it is free! Now, stop reading this blog and go change your passwords already!!