By Andrew Johnson
GreenPath Communications

Farmington Hills, MI

A recent article in The Detroit News discussed why so many passwords are so bad and how not watching over them can lead to identity theft. And, now with back-to-school and holiday shopping on the horizon (sorry!), more and more of us will be logging on and sharing information to start finding deals on gifts, school supplies and more.

So, how can yo protect yourself when you are online? The first stop is a strong password! In part, the Detroit News article discusses how “an easy password is like no password.” The expert suggests that using a combination of upper-and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols is the best way to thwart identity thieves.

For example, when placed up against a password solving computer program, the name “Jones,” will be solved instantly. “Jones56” takes 14 minutes, while “Jones567” takes 15 hours.

Interrupt the letters, and things get better quickly. Let’s say you were born in December. “Jo1212nes” gets you 39 days. Now add a third 12, but hit the capital letters key for the middle one — “Jo12!@12nes” — and you’re good for 4 million years.

Take the time to review your passwords and update on a regular basis. A few preventive passwords can save you time and money, while keeping identity theft at bay!


Top five most common passwords, according to SplashData:

1.    123456
2.    Password
3.    12345
4.    12345678
5.    Qwerty