Weak (bad) passwords can easily lead to a comprimised account. This can include your email password, control panel password, FTP password, or database password, and this advice applies to services you use anywhere online (banking, etc)
The fact is that if your password is too short, contains a dictionary word, contains only numbers, or is a password has been found to be a common password that many people use - your account could be at risk.
This includes words spelled backwards, and personal information (date of birth, phone number, spouse or dog's name) as this information can be easily found out if someone is targetting you directly, such as from social media sources like Facebook or even your own web site.
Studies have found that many peoeple pick the exact same passwords over and over again, and attackers have compiled lists of the most commonly used passwords.
For example, here is a list of the top 500 worst passwords. (Note that attackers have lists containing hundreds of thousands of passwords that they may try to access your account with!)
Topping the list are passwords like: password, 123456, abc123, qwerty, as well as popular sports and names. Check out the list above and you may be surprised to find a password you often use listed there.
So how do you choose a strong Password?
There are many ways but here are some recommendations:
- Use a random password generator
PC Tools has a really easy to use password generator.
- Use a Password App that safely saves passwords on your computer(s) by encrypting passwords.
LastPass is a great option as it can sync your passwords across many computers and even devices (iPad, iPhone, Android), and it also has a built-in password generator. This is the best choice as you only need to remember ONE master password. LastPass also has other features such as being able to create secure notes, and securely save personal information so you can easily fill out online forms (including your credit card number). Again all this information is encrypted.