Saturday 17 August 2019

Passwords are the safety key to cyber security and personal data protection

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Stock photo
Jane Last

Jane Last

"Princess" and "Donald" were among the top 25 "obvious" passwords leaked online last year.

Skout Secure Intelligence - founded by Irish entrepreneur Aidan Kehoe which has its Europe, Middle East and Africa HQ in Portlaoise - issued a list of 25 passwords which are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and data breaches.

The top 25 included perennial favourites such as '123456' and "password" at number one and two places respectively as the most common.

This was followed by '123456789', '12345678' and '12345', rounding out the top five.

The global table also included other obvious passwords such as "admin" and "qwerty".

New entrants to the top 25 obvious passwords include the aforementioned "Princess" and "Donald", understood to be a reference to US President Donald Trump.

The list comes a month after experts discovered what is believed to be the largest collection of breached data in cyber-security history, when more than 770 million email addresses and passwords were posted to a hacking forum.

It is believed the collection of hacked emails and passwords was compiled by cyber-criminals using a variety of different individual data breaches.

The company is urging people to stop re-using passwords and change them every 90 days.

"A good password is the first line of defence between your data and an attacker, so it is vitally important that you make password security a priority in your personal and business life," said Skout chief technology officer Jessvin Thomas.

"If you are guilty of reusing, rotating, or using notoriously weak passwords, you are making yourself or your business an easy target for attackers.

"Reusing passwords for email, banking and social media accounts can lead to identify theft, business downtime and many other situations."

To further protect themselves, Skout advises businesses and individuals to memorise passwords instead of writing them down.

Irish Independent

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