Prevent Cyber Attacks. Know the Worst Passwords of 2017.

By: Debra Gerraughty, CISR, CRIS, CPIA, MLIS

Debbie has more than 28 years of experience in the insurance industry. She enjoys working in the Commercial Lines Department learning new information every day and helping her customers.

Are you taking steps to prevent cyber attacks? It may seem like an overwhelming task, especially for families and small companies. But data breaches and cyber crime are too serious to ignore. Today’s criminals can hack into your personal or business data in any number of creepy ways—including phishing, spoofing, exploiting outdated software, and executing something called a “brute force” attack, which is basically the high-tech version of trial-and-error code cracking.

Step One to prevent cyber attacks? Lock your doors with better locks. Because just like old-school cat burglars, some cyber criminals are still able to walk right through the front door of your digital space. They can do it because your passwords are ridiculously guessable, even when you think you’re being clever. In fact, cyber security professionals say the majority of breaches occur because of “negligent insiders” –i.e. employees who aren’t being careful enough.

If any of your online passwords is on the list below, SplashData’s worst passwords of 2017, you’re leaving the door open to identify theft, data loss, business interuptions, extortion attempts, and other costly problems…

We urge all business owners to watch this quick video on cyber liability insurance or to call us directly—508.339.2951—with any specific questions. Meanwhile, here’s our commentary on 2017’s worst passwords:

  • 123456 (Come on, this is so pathetic)
  • Password (A long-time favorite, still holding strong as the country’s second-most-common bad choice)
  • 12345678 (Gaining steam as more websites now require longer passwords)
  • Qwerty (For the remedial typists among us)
  • 12345 (Thankfully losing ground, and yet lots of people still use it)
  • 123456789 (See above)
  • Letmein (Reminiscent of Big Bad Wolf)
  • 1234567 (Yup, still just a bunch of numbers in a row)
  • Football (What we’re really thinking about when we’re supposed to be working)
  • Iloveyou (Love comes after football, you’ll notice)
  • Admin (For all those accounts someone set up for you and then tried gently reminding you to change)
  • Welcome (The hackers must get an extra laugh at the irony here)
  • Monkey (????)
  • Login (Don’t get Footloose with your security… That was a Kenny Loggins pun, in case you missed it.)
  • Abc123 (Elementary. Literally.)
  • Starwars (May the force… and all our company’s sensitive data… be with you.)
  • Dragon (Nice try, but still not random enough)
  • Passw0rd (Once semi tricky with the zero in place of the “o,” not so much anymore)

Again, a stolen password isn’t the only cause of a potential data breach. But if we did our job well, you are ashamed enough to revise all your hackneyed passwords.

“I can’t remember seventeen random, complicated passwords…”

That’s what you’re saying right now, isn’t it? Okay, we get it. Passwords are a pain in the neck. Especially since the experts also say you shouldn’t repurpose them for multiple accounts.

So, let’s get ready to make another New Year’s resolution. Before the close of business today, complete these steps:

  1. Change all easy-to-guess passwords immediately.
  2. Use a tool like LastPass to manage and protect them.
  3. Schedule a cyber checkup for your computer (and for all the devices used by your employees) Here’s more advice on finding your ideal security solution.
  4. Finally, if you own a business, at least get a quote for cyber attack insurance.

This way, at the end of the day, you can leave work behind to go watch football, and Star Wars, and monkeys, completely worry-free.

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