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Worst Passwords of 2015 and How to Protect Your Passwords

We know remembering passwords can be hard. But that's no excuse to slack off when the alternative could be getting your data and personal information stolen. 

SplashData, which provides password management applications to consumers and businesses, recently released its annual "Worst Passwords List." If your password is one of the guilty parties on this list, it's time to change it now.

Among the top 25 contenders: "123456", "password", "qwerty", "football", "welcome", and "abc123".

And some of the more amusing ones: "dragon", "monkey", "letmein", "princess", and "starwars".

Now, we love the saga of "Star Wars" as much as the next person. But SplashData recommends people not use common pop culture or sports terms. Other obvious passwords use simple patterns (ex. "1qaz2wsx" or "qwertyuiop") and number combinations.

Instead, we recommend users create passwords or passphrases with at least 12-16 characters. A mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols is key. Don't use the same password on multiple websites. If you have a hard time keeping track of all these logins, use a password manager like LastPass or Dashlane - there are countless programs offering these services today.

Final pro-tip: There have been a number of large-scale, highly publicized attacks on major companies in recent years. The site "Have I been pwned" checks to see if your information has been compromised in recent data breaches against Target, Adobe and other companies. Input your email to see if you have accounts at risk.

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Tags: passwords | password protection | security | password management

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