Never underestimate the importance of passwords

As more and more of our personal information is put online, we’re all acutely aware of the need to protect our accounts with strong passwords. It’s important that we use unique passwords for every account we have and change them frequently – ideally monthly.

We all have heard the warning about strong passwords, but are you doing enough to make sure your password is secure? What are the best ways to create a strong password? We will cover some of the most important aspects of the passwords below.

Strong and unique passwords

Using strong and unique passwords makes it much harder for unauthorized people to hack into our accounts and access our personal or even bank details, among other things. It’s worth checking out our top list of the worst passwords, which gives some great examples of passwords not to choose. The list, available at, already shows the previous rankings and the rise and fall of the field, as in the stock market indexes.

Passwords to avoid

Also very instructive is the “Time to crack” column next to them, which shows how long it takes to crack a given password – in most cases, only seconds. The big “runners up” for 2020 in order of ranking are 123456. 123456789 (this is no longer eight characters, it must be unbreakable), picture1, password, 12345678. 111111. 123123. 12345 and 1234567890.

Good alternatives

And what is worth replacing it with? When choosing a password, longer is usually better (not 20 letters, of course), and it’s worth bearing in mind that the time required to crack a password currently jumps by order of magnitude above 12 characters. Use a strong password generator and have a unique code string or code phrase on each page – which you can safely assign to a password phrase, but avoid using words or information that can be linked to you (e.g., your pet’s name, your date of birth, address, etc.).

In addition, use multi-factor authentication wherever possible, avoid relying on password reminders, and change passwords without a visible, noticeable incident at intervals, but at least every February 1st, on “change your password” day.