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password hackingWe all hear about password hacking. But many people have no idea what it is. Password hacking happens when others recover secret passwords from data that has either been stored on a computer or is being sent from one computer system to another. One way they use to hack into your computer or accounts, is to repeatedly try new variations for your password.

A series of hacks to some of our most popular sites like LinkedIn, Yahoo! and eHarmony has shown some of the amazingly easy passwords some people use. And it seems like you are not the only one who thought you were clever enough to use these words as a very secret password! 442,773 passwords were hacked from Yahoo! and close to a quarter of these were used by more than one person. The hacking of these sites brought some other revealing statistics to light as well. It is just amazing how often the last four digits of a password are a year. For instance, the year 2008 is the most popular among LinkedIn passwords.

Even though some of these findings show that some people are just not very original when creating a new password, there are a few steps you can take to make your password more secure. Just remember that there are some real strong-arm hackers out there and no password is ever 100% safe.

Here are a few guidelines you can follow:

  1. Do not end your password with a year.
  2. Do not use common words like password, qwerty, monkey or ninja.
  3. Try to change letters of a word to numbers or characters. But make it something unique to you, since many people use @ instead of a or 5 instead of e.
  4. Do not use exactly the same password for everything. If your Facebook password gets hacked and it is exactly the same as the password to your bank account, you can have some real trouble on your hands.

An article in the Washington Post had this great tip:

Create a unique password, and then shift your fingers one key to the left or right when you type it. So instead of “brokelegAugustninth2012” your password could be “brokelegaug91@” and then shift your fingers to “ntplr;rhsih02#“.

It might sound a bit complicated. And keep in mind that no password is ever completely secure. But I bet it is a better password than “Singlegirl123”.

Have a look at these statistics supplied by http://www.carousel30.com.

common passwords on yahoo

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