If you have one of these 20 passwords, you need to change it now! Make sure your airline, hotel, bank and other accounts are protected!
Over the past few years, we have seen airlines suffer data breaches again and again. Sometimes these airline and hotel breaches have even uncovered customers’ passport numbers. Online security is certainly important for everyone, but if you use one of these 20 passwords, you are definitely not safe!
If you have one of these passwords, change it now!
I used to work for a Department of Defense contractor and we had security protocols that required us to change our various system passwords often – and they must have been pretty tough too! But it can get tricky to follow, and even in a security environment like this, it was common to see people writing their passwords on a post-it note and sticking it on their screen. 🙂
It’s even worse with consumers! We tend to choose passwords that are easy to remember and use the same ones for all of our accounts. The problem is that they are incredibly easy to crack and, even worse, through all the different hacks and breaches, many passwords have found their way to the dark web. Once there, hackers and other malicious actors can obtain this information and then use it to access your accounts and steal miles/points and worse.
According to CNBC, the security company To look for published a list of 20 passwords they found to be the most leaky available on the dark web. Check out this list and if you use one, stop it now and change it to something safer!
- I love you
I find some of the most hilarious are when people think they’re very smart and safe – doing something like the 1q2w3e (look at your keyboard to see how they got to that one and think how easy it is, even though it’s number/letter combinations!). Another funny one for me is the 654321 – as if doing it backwards would keep pirates out!
Best practices for passwords
Here are some tips for creating a strong password. These are recommendations from many security professionals.
- Use a mix of characters – this includes letters (lowercase and uppercase), numbers and symbols
- make it long – at least 15 characters is the suggested amount
- Avoid common keyboard combinations – it would be something like doing “qwerty” or anything else where you basically run your fingers over the keyboard
- Avoid common identifying markers – this would mean not using any combination of your name or other identifiable information (such as date of birth, social security numbers, address, phone number, etc.)
There are browsers (like Safari for Mac/Apple) which will offer you very strong passwords when setting up your account on various sites and then offer to store it for you. This storage is good because it can only be accessed from your account – so make sure the password is very secure!
Another thing to do is to use two-factor authentication. This uses things like a notification sent to a confirmed phone number/email address with a code that needs to be entered in a timely manner after entering your account information. Another method is to use an authenticator that has a 6-digit rotating code that must be entered before it changes.
For all your online accounts, not just hotels, airlines and banks, you need to make sure you are well protected! Airlines and hotels have not done such a good job (to shout out loud, IHG only allowed a 4-digit PIN!), but we can do better to ensure that we have protected our accounts. Start by changing your password if it is one of those above. 🙂
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