We found out last week that even the most reliable online companies with great reputations can be invaded and have valuable data stolen without even be aware it is happening. This happened to LinkedIn.com last week.
If you have a LinkedIn account, and I’ll bet you do, you should login immediately and change your password, because evil doers may now have it, and who knows what they intend to use it for. Many times these hackers will break in to a site like this and steal something valuable just to show they can, but once in a while they do have evil motives.
What you may not know is once the hackers had the passwords, they posted them on the internet for all to see. Well it wasn’t that easy to see them, but with about 10 minutes of research I found a way to see if my password was one that had been stolen.
Interestingly enough, once they stole the passwords, they found out that many people don’t put much thought into their passwords. Here are some of the most popular passwords used;
- “link” was used more than any other password, a shortened version of linkedin
- “1234″, “12345″, and “123456″ are always a bad idea
- “work”, ”job”, and ”career”
- “jesus”, “god” and “angel”
Many users were using passwords related to the site or religious terms. ARE YOU USING ANY OF THESE TERMS? If you’d like to see the top 30 most popular passwords click the link.
The most secure way to protect yourself is to have a different password for every site you ever visit. I know, I know, this isn’t very feasible and you would spend more time trying to remember and looking for your passwords that you can spare in a day.
So, what does the prefect password look like? It should be a series of random letters (some capitalized, some lowercase) and numbers at least 7 digits long. To easily maintain my web logins I have created 5 different passwords I randomly use on different sites. If I don’t remember which password goes with which site, I only have to try 5 different combinations to get it right.
I also use an easy to use password manager on my phone and iPad so every password I ever need is almost always at my fingertips. Later this week, I’ll share a few easy ways to keep track of your passwords with special password managers built specifically for your computers, smartphones, and tablet devices.
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