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How Strong is Your Password?

Published on: January 22, 2014

Is your password password? The annual list of the most commonly used passwords of 2013 is out and the top 25 passwords are surprisingly easy to guess.  To help protect your privacy and your accounts, ALWAYS make sure to choose a difficult to guess password. Keep in mind that no matter how strong your password is, it should also never be the only password you use.  Vary your passwords enough so if your Twitter account gets compromised, it won’t mean that your online banking may be exposed to the same risk.

What makes a strong password?

There are many online guides and tools that help you generate a strong password; however, the key principles of making a strong password are simple:

  1. Make the password at least 8 characters long, or longer where permitted.
  2. Don’t use any common phrases, such as the ones listed below, or your birth date and name.
  3. Use a variation of capital letters and numbers
  4. Don’t be afraid to include special characters such as #$%&@

In addition, make sure to change your passwords on a regular basis and properly secure your devices.  Remember, University of Toronto will NEVER ask you for your username and password.  

Courtesy of SplashData, here is the list of the worst passwords of 2013;

 

Rank Password Change from 2012

1

123456

Up 1

2

password

Down 1

3

12345678

Unchanged

4

qwerty

Up 1

5

abc123

Down 1

6

123456789

New

7

111111

Up 2

8

1234567

Up 5

9

iloveyou

Up 2

10

adobe123

New

11

123123

Up 5

12

admin

New

13

1234567890

New

14

letmein

Down 7

15

photoshop

New

16

1234

New

17

monkey

Down 11

18

shadow

Unchanged

19

sunshine

Down 5

20

12345

New

21

password1

Up 4

22

princess

New

23

azerty

New

24

trustno1

Down 12

25

000000

New