If ‘open sesame’ was a password, just remember how in the tale of Ali Baba it didn’t work out so well for the 40 thieves and their treasure trove. Consider then how well an easy-to-guess password will protect yours.
From the annual ‘worst password’ rankings that come around, ‘123456’ and ‘password’ are two that often top the lists - for five years in a row, according to one survey!
From the results, it seems not enough people are putting a high enough value on their personal information or even aware of the dangers of slack password protection. Common sense tells us that if a password is a padlock, a stainless steel one must surely be better than a flimsy plastic one.
Creating and using a strong password is a privacy-enhancing response to the many threats that abound on the internet. Identity theft, for example, is a very real danger and one of the ways it can come about is through compromised online accounts, emails or electronic devices.
This PC Mag article advises people to think of passwords as being like underwear. You should change them often. Don't share them. Don't leave them out for others to see.
How do you know if you’ve got a strong password? There are the usual elements of mixing capital letters with numbers and symbols but if you want to be doubly sure, there are ways to carry out simple stress or strength tests to help you identify what is a poor, reasonable, or strong password.
Here’s one tool that we came across and the really helpful thing is that its creator Tyler Akins has made the software open source and available for anyone wanting to use it on their websites. And if you also want ways of coming up with a tough password, there’s also an automatic password generator to help you.
Some browsers, like Safari, generate random passwords. Another type of password product is Dashlane which allows users to manage and store multiple different passwords.
Maybe you have a favourite password checker or password manager? If so, let us know.
Image credit: Incredible Hulk by ABlackInkArtist.