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Password security, you should care!

For the last couple of weeks, I have been getting many calls from friends and family members about their computers giving problems. This is nothing unusual, but I have been noticing a plethora of security issues on the computers I have been fixing. One of the computers I have to ‘repair’ has so many issues I am contemplating a total wipe with OS reinstall. This guy also seemed to be using ‘12345’ as his main password for most of the sites he visits.

It is true that some people don’t like adding an anti virus client, and while I wouldn’t force family members to use this software, I would strongly recommend that they adhere to a strict guidance on ‘safe surfing’. Many people don’t seem to understand that dodgy websites can use code to steal passwords and even install malicious code. It really is that simple, especially if you visit key generator and warez or porn sites. I am not judging if you do, but at least protect your machine well before attempting to navigate them.

Out of the circle of friends I have been helping I have noticed that many are using the same weak password for many of their online shopping sites and banks. With personal details being stolen throughout this year from many popular websites an analysis was taken of the most popular passwords which are being used.

We have published something on this before on Kitguru, but as we are heading into the Christmas season, many people are going online to shop and not thinking about how secure their system is – a reminder is due. Passing over credit card information without ensuring your machine is safe, is very risky. It is even more dangerous if you are using a ridiculously weak password in the mix.

The top twenty weak passwords which are easily hacked are as follows (taken from online research):

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. 1234
  5. qwerty
  6. 12345
  7. dragon
  8. pussy
  9. baseball
  10. football
  11. letmein
  12. monkey
  13. 696969
  14. abc123
  15. mustang
  16. michael
  17. shadow
  18. master
  19. jennifer
  20. 111111
  21. 2000
  22. jordan
  23. superman
  24. harley
  25. 1234567

It would be fair to say, if you are using any of these passwords, to get it changed immediately. I also recommend you install an anti virus client such as Kaspersky or Avast/AVG (opinions will vary) – let them run a full scan even if it takes a few hours. There are also good additional options to ensure your system is clean from malware and spyware. Apps such as SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes Pro are good choices, but there are many many more available online.

Kitguru says: Be safe this Christmas, take a little time to ensure your machine is protected and clean – and update your passwords if they are weak.

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