In a day and age when the Target and Michael’s credit card fraud incidents are happening, you would think that we would all be on high alert when it comes to protecting our personal information. And yet, let’s take a look at Splashdata.com’s list of the 25 worst passwords of 2013:
Seems like far too many people still go the “Spaceballs” approach to security, using the number an idiot might have as a combination on his luggage.
You really don’t need to do much phishing here to guess most of this list.
So how should you pick your WordPress password and avoid being a total idiot?
Here’s a list of the top 5 DOs and DON’Ts when selecting a password:
1. DO NOT Select Your Mother’s Maiden Name
…especially if it’s your middle name and you insist that everyone include the aforementioned name when referring to you. You’re not Andrew Lloyd Webber or Sandra Day O’Connor…heck you’re not even Billy Ray Cyrus…you don’t need three names! Promise.
(Billy Dee Williams…you may continue to do whatever you please.)
It usually doesn’t take much online research to learn your mother’s maiden name. You already hated having your mom comment on your FB status, now, that comment could be the reason you get hacked!
2. DO NOT Use Your Child’s Name
…especially if you have 873 photo albums online with titles like “Poindexter’s First Day,” “Poindexter’s First Smile,” or “Poindexter’s First Successful Use of Sarcasm.”
Also, don’t name your kid Poindexter.
3. DO NOT Select Your First Name
…or any nickname derived from your first name.
While I will never understand how you get Hank from Henry or Betsy from Elizabeth or Dick from Richard (hehehe…Dick), please, please, please(!!), don’t use nicknames for your name as your password. ESPECIALLY if your login is your first name. DUH!
Pick something only YOU would know.
Select the name of your favorite childhood toy and the number of times a day you soothingly rubbed it against your face.
Select the nickname you gave that boss you hated and the date you quit that job.
Select the college you applied to early decision and the date you transferred to the university you loved.
5. DO Select Something You Can Remember
Yes, selecting a password no one can guess is just a step away from selecting a password you can never remember. But when you want to quickly log into your WordPress site to change your accidental incorrect use of “there, their, or they’re,” you don’t want to end up wasting time going through the process of selecting “Forgot your password?”, answering 27 security questions, and waiting for the temp password to appear in your email inbox…all while you are receiving emails informing you of your error from your mom, 7th grade English teacher, and that guy you dated who would correct the grammar in your love notes. (Why did you date him?!?!)
Just remember, when selecting a password, picking something that is a combination of letters (both capitalized and lowercase), numbers, and symbols is pretty essential to maintaining the best security for yourself. But you have to make sure you can remember the conglomeration.
And no matter how much of a Princess you are, don’t use it as your password.
Any password nightmares out there worth sharing?
Jessica Glassberg has written for The Screen Actors Guild Awards, Disney, and, for ten years, was the head writer of the 21-hour, Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon where she also performed five times. Additionally, “The History of the Joke with Lewis Black” on the History Channel featured Jessica’s comedic stylings and she currently produces and hosts a standup comedy showcase, “Laugh Drink Repeat,” and is a contributing writer for Kveller.com. To learn more about the author visit jessicaglassberg.com and follow her on twitter @JGlassberg.