Sunday, 11 October 2009

How Secure are You?

This is old news now as I wrote it a few days ago, but I wrote it so I'm posting it!

It has been in the news recently that 10,000 hotmail and 20,000 gMail, AOL and Yahoo mail account details have been stolen and the details published on the Internet.

Apart from the fact they were published, there isn’t really anything unusual in that as I’m sure it happens all the time, but what is interesting is the fact that someone has analysed the hotmail details and published the findings. 9,843 of the 10,000 passwords were found to be valid, and the most popular password was 12345.

No offence if that’s your password, but there seem to be quite a few forgetful people out there as surely it’s easier to remember a stronger password than that.  It turns out that the second most popular password was 123456789, and 111111, 12345678 and 1234567 also feature in the top ten.

Now I shouldn’t really poke fun as I’ve used the same password for years. I know I shouldn’t and it isn’t really that complex, but it makes it easier to access an account on a website that you haven’t been to for years, because the chances are it will be the same.

I know I’m not the only one, but now I’ve made that admission, I think I’ll go and vary my password on a few important sites, because I know a few people who may be able to work it out. I trust them…. I think….. maybe…… *paranoia sets in*


The Random Within


  1. I'm guilty of the same sort of thing - the same password for years and years. Only a couple have 'fancy' bits to them, alphanumeric with a capital letter thrown in for good measure. The best one is one of the banking ones which requires you to click on a number pad which changes every time you access the site. Avoids the whole keystroke thing. You will be pleased to know I have stopped using qwerty as a password for anything.
    The panic du jour over here is currently EFT and credit card skimming.

  2. I remember last time passwords were analysed, the most popular were 'god' and 'sex'.

    Never used those myself, but after 15 years of using the same password, perhaps it's time to mix it up a little :)