Is your password “password”?

Posted on January 5, 2011


I’ve told this story before, but I’ve worked at a Fortune 500 company whose default password for their computer systems was “password”.

People thought I was kidding, but I was not.

Recently, a hacker posted the source code of Gawker’s website, including their readers’ usernames, emails, and passwords. The Wall Street Journal listed the Top 50 passwords of Gawker readers. That includes blogs like Gawker, Deadspin, Lifehacker, etc. The graphic is a list of some of the most popular passwords on Gawker.

So if you posted a comment and registered your email address on those blogs, both could be online.

In response, Gawker encouraged all users to change their passwords on their personal email addresses. The reason: Most people use the same password on every website.

I admit. I am guilty of using similar passwords on different websites. I got Gawker’s email and had to change my passwords.

Microsoft put together a nifty guide for creating passwords. Everyone should be concerned with online security.

Basically, everyone (me included) should vary your passwords, use a combination of letters and numbers in the password, and use longer passwords.

I also use LastPass to store my passwords. That way I can follow secure password rules (and I don’t have to remember them).

If you have Chrome, I have an extension called “Secure Password Generator”  that gives me passwords up to 32 characters at any strength I wish. So LastPass and SPG can make you more secure.