The Weakest Passwords of 2022 | Fox News

Passwords are designed to protect us from bad people like crooks, hackers, thieves, snoops, catfish crawlers and criminals gaining access to some of our most important online accounts.

When you haven’t chosen a well-thought-out, strong password, a smart hacker can easily compromise your privacy and security and create devastating losses and hugely painful problems in your life.

The security company, Specops, produced a report on some of the weakest passwords used in 2022 by looking at 800 million password breaches and found that many users make the same mistakes by using commonly guessed words.

Bad password choices fall into all kinds of categories, from popular sports teams and athletes to names of seasons and even names of best-selling artists.

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A computer keyboard with letters stacked to form the word 'password' is seen in this illustration photo taken in Warsaw, December 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel) (POLAND - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

A computer keyboard with letters stacked to form the word ‘password’ is seen in this illustration photo taken in Warsaw, December 12, 2013. (REUTERS/Kacper Pempel) (POLAND – Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY)

What are some passwords I should avoid?

Some of the highest rated password words and numbers include:

  • password
  • password1
  • abc123
  • Aa123456
  • 123
  • welcome
  • 111111111
  • 12345678
  • 1qaz2wsx
  • REM
  • Cher
  • Pink
  • Red
  • Angels
  • rays
  • summer
  • yes
  • star wars
  • Ewok
  • Loki
  • Thor
  • rocky

If you’re using the passwords above, it’s time to change them.

Password management

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How do I find a good password?

There are some basic rules for creating a good password that will be difficult for hackers to crack. Following these guidelines can help you narrow down what you should and shouldn’t use.

Make sure your password is at least 12 characters long

The longer the password and the more characters a hacker has to try, the better. Some sites will require you to enter your password to a certain number of characters anyway, but having at least 12-14 characters or more is usually a safe bet.

Include numbers, symbols, upper and lower case letters

Again, the more variety you have, the better. Make everything as random as possible to keep the hackers out. For example, a password like ‘d%A$r(T496’ would be much harder to crack than ‘dart496.’

Avoid words in the dictionary

A word in itself is not good to use as a password. It is too easy for a hacker to take a lucky guess from a common dictionary, such as “cat” or “apple”. Even a combination of dictionary words like “blue car” is too simple a password.

Do not use substitutes

Replacing letters with common symbols can also lead to bad news. For example, if you want to use the word “smart” but instead write it as “$mart”, it’s too obvious because the $ symbol and the letter S look too similar.

How can I keep my passwords safe?

Aside from the simpler password guidelines listed above, two other ways to keep your passwords safe are by using different passwords for different accounts and by avoiding writing your passwords down anywhere.

However, it can be quite difficult to keep track of all these letter and number combinations, especially considering that most of the tasks are done online and we have to have many accounts.

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Therefore, we recommend using one Password management.Password managers are apps that allow you to create, store, fill, and manage passwords for every task you complete online, from online banking to shopping to medical records. Many password managers also include login encryption that makes it harder (including the password manager company) to guess your password.

No tool offers perfect security

Password managers are not immune to their own security breaches, including one we tested and listed as a top solution. LastPass has had its customer data compromised recently. Cybercriminals were able to obtain access information to the vault which, if opened, could have devastating results.

A quick fix for one of these types of security breaches is to regularly change your master vault password. This is the master password used to access the vault of all your saved passwords. If you’ve been using a password manager, I recommend changing that master vault password right now.

Which password manager should I use?

Password for social media

Password for social media
(Cyberguy.com)

Our top password manager pick is LastPass. LastPass stores all your passwords in an encrypted vault and offers tons of other features along the way, including:

Free trial: You can test out the premium features for 30 days. You have the option to revert to the free version if you do not wish to upgrade to a Premium account at the end of the 30 days.

Unlimited password and note storage

Secure password generator

Automatic sync: You can add your password on one device and it will automatically sync across all browsers and apps.

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One-to-many sharing: You can securely share usernames and passwords with multiple people.

1 GB file storage of private/sensitive files such as passports or license information.

Security dashboard and score: You can assess the strength of your passwords and monitor your password against known data breaches.

Dark Web Monitoring: This feature monitors all your accounts stored with this manager and notifies you that it has been found in a data breach.

Emergency Access: You can grant one-time access to another LastPass user in case of an emergency.

LastPass will now allow users to login to the main vault with passwords through the LastPass Authenticator app.

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Our favorite feature that makes creating and saving passwords super easy is the Secure Password Generator to quickly create a secure password:

Password management

Password management
(Cyberguy.com)

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Learn more about Last Pass and other great password management companies by visiting CyberGuy.com/Passwords

For more of my privacy tips, head over to CyberGuy.com/Privacy, and while you’re there, be sure to sign up for my free newsletter.

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