November 18, 2011
As a LinkedIn Profile Writer, my clients often provide me with their LinkedIn username and passwords so I can edit their LinkedIn profile.
Having written hundreds and hundreds of LinkedIn profiles, I have seen every kind of password imaginable and I’d have to say, the most popular password is tennis.
Any password that could be found in a dictionary, such as tennis, is a very insecure password. You see, hackers run dictionary attacks by successively logging in using a word list derived from a dictionary.
Why would a hacker want to break into your LinkedIn account? Hackers love email addresses and your LinkedIn connections list is a treasure trove of email addresses they could potentially SPAM.
Mashable recently published an article on the Worst Passwords of 2011.
The top Worst 25 passwords are as follows:
Oddly enough, the password I see the most did not make the list. Perhaps it is #26. At any rate, if your LinkedIn password (or any password for that matter) is on this list, CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY!
It’s important to have strong passwords, not just for LinkedIn.
Length. Make your passwords long with eight or more characters.
Complexity. Include letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers. Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. However, password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing “and” to “&” or “to” to “2.”
Variation. To keep strong passwords effective, change them often. Set an automatic reminder for yourself to change your passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites about every three months.
Here’s an easy way to come up with a secure yet easy to remember password that a hacker will not be able to break.
1. Think of a quote that you like. Make sure the quote contains at least 8 words.
ex. A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse and Thou Beside me singing in the Wilderness
2. Now take just the first letter of each word: afowabovatbmsitw
3. Convert a few of the letters to their number equivalent… A = 4, B = 8, E – 3, O = 0, etc…
4. If you really want to get secure, add some punctuation to it. Use an exclamation point or a question mark.
VOILA! There you have it, a rather easy to remember but very secure password you can use immediately!
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