123456 Reasons Your Password Might Be Really Bad

December 2013: When hackers broke into Adobe’s network a couple of months ago, they stole millions of account holders’ information — talk about a communal leap backwards! On top of that, it turns out that nearly two million of those account holders were using the exact same password: 123456. And the next most popular was 123456789.

This, froggy friends, is not a password strategy. It’s a password club! Here are the other most popular passwords, plus three strategies to leap away from the crowd and become a password Club of One:

1. Imagine your online account is directly connected to your bank account.
Your password strategy isn’t only about you — it’s also about the online company you do business with. When you create an account with a password that’s connected to other information that’s part of your identity, like your email address and credit card number, you’re trusting the online company to keep that information secure using encryption and other security measures. Can you be sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to?

STRATEGY: Don’t let an online company control your identity destiny. Take your Club of One power into your own hands.

2. Picture a James Bond villain menacingly stroking his docile lap cat.

See the villain’s diamond pinky ring? See his platinum cuff link peeking out from under his $4,000 suit? Cybercrime is an enormous, hugely profitable, cut-throat underworld business — it’s way more profitable and way less messy than drug dealing and earth annihilating.

STRATEGY: Don’t be a trusting lap cat. Wear a Club of One spiked collar.

3. Think about spending the next several weeks on the phone. Mostly on hold.
So you pull out a credit card to pay for dinner — it’s your treat tonight, and you’re feeling good about that. But uh-oh. The server comes back and leans down to quietly ask if you have another card because this one was rejected. Hmm, you wonder. Must be a glitch. So you pull out another card but the embarrassed waiter comes back again. That pit you feel in your stomach? The sense of frustration, violation and aggravation? That’s your new normal as you sort out how to recover from identity theft.

STRATEGY: Don’t become an expert on how to fix a cyber mess. Become an expert on creating Club of One passwords instead.

For more tips on how to quit your membership in the world’s most popular passwords club, hop on the complete list of Adobe users favorite passwords and on Google’s Top 10 list of password sources. And then hop far, far away!

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