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Are your passwords as secure as our Secret Santa?

Are your passwords as secure as our Secret Santa?

It’s almost become an obsession in our office, to ensure nobody knew who had who in our Secret Santa. We all picked names from an empty monitor box, held them close to our chests, peaking only when we were sure nobody else could see. Stuffing the paper hastily into our pockets to hide from prying eyes. I even burnt mine when I got home.

This morning came the big day. I hunted high and low for a bag big enough to hide the size and shape of mine. I even put a few books in bottom to give the bag some added weight. Nobody was going to figure out my recipient! Reece put a box in the kitchen for us to deposit our gifts. He put the kettle on the lid of the box to hold it shut. Andrew instructed me to go into the kitchen, alone, open the box with my eyes shut and place my present inside. This way I couldn’t see the ones already in there and make a guess at who mine was from!

The kettle went back onto the lid of the box – Proper secure stuff this.

Do you take the same precautions with your passwords? What makes a secure password?

Reece says its best to have a total random mixture of letters (upper & lower case), symbols, & numbers. It’s also best to try to have different passwords for each different application you use. Or to at least have some difference in the passwords. – One super secure password is no good if somebody figures it out.

If you struggle with remembering random letters and numbers, Toby advises leeting a word. - Yeah, I pulled that face too – leeting is wh3n y0u cr34te w0rd5 w1th numb3rs 1n th3m. Although top hackers will check leeted words, it will make it more difficult for colleagues and people around you to remember them. Always mix in some other randomness.

We suggest a ‘passphrase’ might be best, a few random words strung together, they will be easy to remember but difficult for a computer to crack. Add some symbols in for good measure and away you go.

Here are the top 10 used passwords of 2017...

...and the biggest no no’s to give you an idea of what NOT to do:

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. 12345678
  5. 111111
  6. 1234567890
  7. 1234567
  8. password
  9. 123123
  10. 987654321

So, why don’t you drop your passwords into the comments below and we can all tell you how secure they really are…

NO! STOP! DON’T DO IT! I was joking!

Be wary of people asking for your passwords, even if they know some personal info about you, always make sure you know the person or company and can verify who they are.

But you can try it in this secure website - https://howsecureismypassword.net.

It would take 10 million years for mine to be cracked… tell us in the comments, how long it would take for yours to be cracked. For real this time.