Most popular passwords of 2012

7:52 PM, Apr 24, 2013   |    comments
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By Kelly Dudzik

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WGRZ) - Tuesday, someone hacked the twitter account for The Associated Press by posting a fake tweet about the White House being attacked. It briefly sent stocks tumbling.

If such a huge organization can be hacked, experts say you can, too.

At Clevermethod, a web and mobile development company, it's Matt Hasselback's job to help businesses keep their online and social media marketing tools up and running. So, he knows just what it takes to safely and securely use your online accounts.

"The most important thing that I would recommend is using a strong password," he says.

Hasselback says that means a complex combination of upper and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers.

According to a password management company, the word password and 123456 were the most popular online passwords of 2012.

"Another important thing would be to not use the same password for multiple sites," says Hasselback. "That, and changing it frequently."

And, your social media and email accounts aren't the only things at risk.

"A lot of people don't protect their home networks properly. Putting a password on their wifi, a password even on their home router on the admin part of it, and they can be hacked that way," he says.

There are even online scams that allow hackers to track your keystrokes, so they can figure what websites you've been to, and the passwords you've typed to get into your accounts.

"There are certain websites where you can enter your password using a mouse. So that's a good idea.
You can use a bookmark so you actually didn't type in the address things like that would help protect against that attack but not other attacks," says Hasselback.

But, hackers are always figuring out new ways to steal your information, and if big companies with huge social media staffs can get hacked, you are also at risk.

"I don't think there's any one thing that you can do to fully protect yourself perhaps other than remaining completely offline, and that's not an acceptable option for most people today," he says.

Hasselback says the main thing businesses can take away from the internet hacking is to have a plan in place in case something like this happens to them.

Again, here are the top 5 tips:
1) Use a strong password
2) Use different passwords
3) Change your password frequently
4) Password protect your home network
5) Enter passwords with mouse


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