It’s human nature, we are all human and we all have a similar way of thinking and acting. A downside of this on the security front is that we tend to pick the same passwords as everyone else. At worst – when in a rush 1234 or abc123 is the easiest thing to type on the keyboard and it becomes a password. Sure we intend to fix that up later but we don’t!
You’re unique – make your password unique too!
In January 2010 the New York Times published an article on the most common passwords in use at the time. Nothing has changed much!
“one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat”
The top ten, in order, were: 123456, 12345, 123456789, password, iloveyou, princess, rockyou, 1234567, 12345678, abc123. And at number 14 was monkey which I have seen a client use!
Remember, if you use a password anyone can guess then you might as well not bother! It is just as easy to come up with something easy to remember that no one will guess, and I have given some hints on this previously in my article on how to manage your passwords. If you don’t need a super secure password, then pick the simplest method that gives you enough security – enough depends on what your password is protecting.
iPhones have even simpler common passwords
The likelihood of your password being guessed is even higher if you use an iPhone as the hacker knows it is only 4 digits long and is all numbers. This should give them a 1 in 10,000 chance of guessing but statistics indicate that over 15% of people use one of the top 10 passwords. If you search for “report on common iPhone passwords” you will see that the most common one is still 1234.
So I could unlock 1 in 7 iPhones out there today. If I know a little bit about the person (such as how old they are) then the likelihood of me being able to unlock the phone increases even more!
Much of the ‘hacking’ that goes on these days is simply through the use of human nature, understanding that people tend to do the same sorts of things as everyone else. A more active form of this that tries to manipulate people or trick them is called social engineering. Both are based on understanding how people think and what they are likely to do.
Don’t run with the crowd when it comes to your password, here’s to it being as unique as you are.
your ‘Peoples Geek’