Password Do’s and Don’ts

Have you ever wondered how safe your password is? If it’s 123456 – it’s time to change!

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) analysed passwords belonging to accounts worldwide that had been breached and found the 10 most commonly hacked passwords were:

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • qwerty
  • password
  • 111111
  • 12345678
  • abc123
  • 1234567
  • password1
  • 12345

The NCSC has also published separate analysis of the 100,000 most commonly re-occurring passwords that have been accessed by third parties in global cyber breaches. Check to see if yours is on the list.

So what makes a good password? At Iconyx we strongly believe a good password:

  • Has 12 characters, minimum.
  • Includes numbers, symbols, capital letters, and lower-case letters.
  • Doesn’t use a dictionary word or combination of dictionary words.
  • May be an abbreviated phrase. For example, “I want to go to England” can be converted to an abbreviation by using the first letters of each word and changing the word “to” to a number “2.” This will result in the following basic password phrase: iw2g2e. Make it even more complex by adding punctuation, spaces or symbols: %iw2g2e!@
  • Isn’t a derivative of your name, the name of a family member or the name of a pet.

Good password hygiene is also vital. The following are tips to keep your passwords safe:

  • Do change your passwords regularly.
  • Do log out of websites and devices when you are finished using them.
  • Do use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) whenever possible.
  • Don’t use the same password for every account.
  • Don’t share passwords. This includes not leaving it lying around on a sticky note.

If you are having trouble coming up with unique passwords, there are plenty of handy online password generators you can use. Here are a few examples: