How to Create Bad Passwords and Get Your Data Stolen
Passwords are among the network security aspects that are most commonly misunderstood. People often see them as a burden that they have to put up with, rather than as what passwords really are - the main defensive barrier against hackers and cybercrime. They play a critically important role in preventing cybersecurity breaches and protecting your data and personal information.
As such, it’s very dangerous to underestimate the threat of weak passwords. They undermine any other security measures that individuals or companies can employ to secure their networks. If your password is so simple that it can be easily breached, cybercriminals may not even trigger your network’s security monitoring.
Don’t want to see your passwords weak and stolen? Wouldn’t like to jeopardize your personal corporate data? Not sure what does bad password even mean? Then read this piece and learn what’s so bad about bad passwords!
With Passwarden, you'll never use a bad password again
How to Create a Bad Password
1. Common passwords
As you can see in our research on the most popular passwords of 2020, two of the most commonly used passwords are also among the weakest: password and 123456789. This shows that, despite all of the advice and clarifying, many netizens continue to employ basic, easily guessed, bad passwords.
That’s not to say that users are ignorant of the weakness of their passwords. Researchers found that many people are aware of cybersecurity hygiene - and yet still opt to use bad passwords, much to the hackers’ delight. So if you’re really into setting a bad password for your account, why not pick any of those two above?
2. Pop-culture references
Another way to create a bad password is to get inspired by pop culture. Just played a new hyped video game or watched a recent episode of Mandalorian? Be sure to make your next password residentevil, starwars, or mando - clearly, no one but millions of other fans will have come up with the same idea! And as a bonus, these are some simple, easy-to-remember-and-even-easier-to-crack passwords, so cybercrooks will surely be thankful.
3. Personally identifiable information
Another great way to make your password as bad as possible is to use personally identifiable info - names of your spouses, children, parents, friends, acquaintances, pets, etc. It’s not like hackers do their research anyway, or like your whole social circle can be identified in mere minutes by taking a look at your social channels like Facebook. What could go wrong?
Of course, there are ways to create a strong password without much hassle. For instance, a certain password management app provides tools that streamline this process, such as an automatic password generator. But who needs that when you can just make your password a combination of your name and birth date, right?
4. Reused Passwords
All right, let’s say you’ve used some of the above advice to create a pretty bad password, but you would like to add some extra vulnerability to it. What you can then do is use this password for each and every account of yours. This will ensure that hackers won’t even have to go out of their way and guess your password. All they’ll need to do is breach one of the websites, services, or WiFi networks you use - and they’ll get access to all your other profiles.
Or even better, use your bad password for your work accounts, in addition to your personal profiles. Why jeopardize only your own data when you could be putting your whole organization’s data at risk? Sure, many narrow-minded security experts suggest that you should be using different, unique passwords for every account, be it personal or corporate, but what would they know.
5. Write down your passwords
Let’s say that, for whatever reason, you’ve skipped over our previous priceless bits of advice and ended up creating a strong password, or even a bunch of them. How are you going to remember them all? Clearly, you should write down your passwords on a sticky note, keeping it where everyone can see them. Or in an online sheet that’s easily accessible by anyone who has the proper link.
Sure, you could use a dedicated password manager like Passwarden that was specifically crafted to store your passwords and other sensitive information in secured Vaults. That offers numerous security features designed to provide you with top-of-the-game protection (e.g. Master Password, end-to-end data encryption, two-factor authentication, Duress mode, etc.) That’s free and easy to start thanks to the Migration feature. But who needs that when you have sticky notes, right?
Passwarden is a part of the MonoDefense security bundle
Jokes Aside - Bad Passwords Are Extremely Dangerous
Now, let’s get serious for a moment. As you can see, creating a bad password is pretty easy, and it’s likely that you do so too. On the other hand, creating a good, strong, and unhackable password and properly storing it takes more effort, and so it’s often neglected. However, you can be sure that hackers won’t neglect every means they have to crack your password and get their hands on your data.
Do not ignore the basics of password security hygiene. Create complex passwords, create long passwords, and create different passwords for each account. If you don’t have time or patience for this - use password generators as described above. And always store your passwords securely and privately, for instance in the Passwarden password manager app.