NewsNational NewsScripps News


Password hygiene: The weak passwords you shouldn't use

Billions of private records have been exposed by data breaches in recent years, a statistic that makes having a strong password even more important.
Password hygiene: The weak passwords you shouldn't use
Posted at 5:07 PM, Nov 16, 2023

Remembering all of your passwords can be frustrating, but what experts call "password hygiene" can be a complicated, but necessary part of keeping some of your most private online data safe. 

There have been billions of records exposed by data breaches in recent years. 

This month, Maine finally revealed a massive data breach due to a weak point in a piece of vital software used by that state to transfer files. It was estimated that around 1.3 million people were impacted by the cyberattack.  

Security experts have encouraged users to come up with complex passwords to mitigate the risk involved with having so much of our private information online. 

Companies like Nord tout products like their NordPass, and others, like the company Keeper, help users store their secret passwords so they can be easily retrieved. There is also a list of passwords considered to be the worst choices, because they are easily guessed or used in password selecting applications to hack programs. 

City names and curse words are a no-go when it comes to creating passwords. Some of the worst ones also include some you may have guessed, including: "123456," "password," "qwerty," "123456789" and "147258369," among others that are easy to guess and in sequential order, Cyber News reported. 

Other bad passwords included, "ILoveYou," "password," "p4ssw0rd," and many other variations of trying to use other keys to replace letters in some of the already known weak password choices. 

SEE MORE: Most Americans are not planning to shop on Black Friday

A report from IBM says data breaches cost, on average, around $165 per record. That could equal millions, or even billions of dollars in losses in large data breaches that affect a sizable portion of the population. 

The IBM report says that the average cost of a data breach reached an all-time high in 2023, rising to around $4.45 million.

Experts recommend using a password generator to come up with complex pass codes that will be harder to figure out. Couple that with a trusted password manager and you might have a leg up on the scammers who want to reveal your personal data in a breach. 

Trending stories at