In our day and age, there is a real threat and terrifying danger in losing your identity which affects absolutely everything in this digital age. Nearly everything in life is connected someway to a digital life from credit, banking, pictures, personal life…. literally everything!
It is also a common problem in our digital and technologically advanced age for hackers and programs to take your life from you easier with sometimes the only thing dividing you and them is a simple pin number or password.
Having any or all aspect of your life stolen from you is a real threat no matter what, but don’t make it easy to steal!
With that, we thought it would be a good idea to share with our readers what the top most common passwords and pin numbers are…. and if yours is on the list….. please, please change it!
We will also provide some tips for you in choosing the right passwords and/or pin numbers.
First, here’s the top 25 pin numbers that were used last year. And according to data by researchers, these pin numbers made up 15% of 4-digit pin numbers out there). Most of us use a four digit pin number for many purposes: ATM/Banking, smart phones and tablets, laptops and computers, locks, etc. We all use them probably more than we realize. Which means if you are one of the 15% using these top pins, you are putting yourself at higher risk.
Here’s those top pin numbers:
SO…. if one of these above is yours, we would recommend changing it! For some tips in changing your pin, here’s some top DON’TS.
Don’t use the year you were married, born, birth of a child, etc. Years in general are dangerous as it can be associated with anyone! But many hackers and thieves can find important years in your life by some simple online searches or mail nabbing….. and even good guesses of dates from the past 5o years. So in the end, avoid anything starting with 19 and 20!
Don’t repeat a number! As you will notice, many of the pins above repeat a number or two. When it is only 4 digits, repeating a number means an easier chance of guessing and hitting the right combination!
Don’t use the same pin for everything. For the very important purposes, pick one (make it random) and memorize it. For not so important ones, have a different pin number.
Don’t share it with anyone! If you have to give a pin over the phone or paper or any other person for accounts or set-up or “security verification”, then use a different one and one not associated with your very important stuff! For example, most banks, debit pins, etc. all allow you to punch in the numbers yourself so that the teller, cashier, etc. wouldn’t even see it. But there have been times when you have to verbally give it or on forms include a pin….. this pin needs to be separate!
Okay…. now let’s talk about the top 25 most common passwords. Again, this is so important to secure yourself in this digital age…. so if yours is on the list….. change it!
Before we share our tips on how to select a better password, we spotted this infographic. The above passwords are the most common right now, but this infographic shows the top 20 of all time! The information on this infographic is helpful and so check it out! Thanks to Edudemic.com for providing this infographic!
Here’s our tips on picking a secure password:
- Don’t use just letters and words (like from the dictionary or sequences of letters or numbers)
- Don’t use just names – especially if it is a common name!!
- Don’t use common words, names and phrases spelled backwards
- Don’t use the simple plain way of typing names or dates or special events in your life – for example, don’t use a date like this: january12013
- Don’t use just one password for everything, use many different ones based on levels of security
- Do change your passwords often!
The rule of thumb for the most secure passwords are using a combination of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), number and characters and at least 8 digits! Yes, this becomes quite complex, but if you find something to associate your passwords to, then create phrases using these three requirements, then it makes it much easier!
For example, let’s say you had one of your favorite vacations in your life and it was to Paris, France (we’ve never been, but it would be cool!) so you can create a number of passwords for many different purposes all related to this theme.
Ideas on how to implement the theme idea behind creating a secure password:
For a general password: pAr1s_frAnc3 (using all three requirements of letters in both upper and lower case, not necessarily capitalizing the obvious, numbers as letters and characters)
For banking/financial purposes maybe the sites around Paris like: 31FF3l_t0W3r (which is Eiffel Tower 3=E, 1=I, capitalize middle letters and underscores for spaces between words) or f>n_aT_Th3_L0><r3 (which is Fun at The Louvre – making all T’s capital, >=u, <=V, 0=o, 3=e and an underscore between each word) it looks like a crazy password, but there is a method to it’s madness!
For online shopping and other online sites perhaps the names of hotels or restaurants like: 30>L1N_pLaza (which is Moulin Plaza 3=m, 0=o, >=u, capitalize L’s and underscore between words).
This is an idea to help you remember your passwords while they are secure! Center around a theme and use a pattern of some sort to combine the three secure rules! By the way, you don’t have to use the obvious uses of ”0″ for “o,” or “@” for “a,” or “3″ for “e,” either. As long as your replacement makes sense to you, that’s all that matters. An “@” for an “s” may make sense to you, etc.!
Also, when you change your passwords, change the theme all together too to make it easier for you and harder for those hackers!
If you can’t remember or not sure if you will remember, use a password manager to keep track of them for you! If you need some help in finding free password managers, we suggest checking out this article on About.com.
So with that, we work hard to help our readers gain financially security and smarts and we know you are working hard to work towards this too, so we want to make sure you are all being safe out there in this digital world so you don’t lose what you have worked hard for!
Photo Credit: stepbystep.com