There's an interesting little study that's been done by security firm Imperva, which analyzed some 32 million passwords posted online in December by some enterprising hacker.
Imperva's analysis (www.imperva.com/docs/WP_Consumer_Password_Worst_Practices.pdf) shows pretty much what you'd expect -- people, in general, don't take passwords all that seriously.
There's no other way to explain how 30 percent of users chose passwords with six or fewer characters -- making them quite vulnerable to brute force attacks. Or why nearly half of the users chose slang words, proper names and words found in the dictionary.
Such things are frowned upon by security experts, who say they make you an easy target.
So, just for fun, let's look at the top 10 passwords found among those 32 million samples:
7. rockyou (the name of the site the passwords were stolen from)
If any of these look familiar, maybe it's time to put just a little more thought into your password selection -- particularly if the password in question is guarding credit card data or anything else you don't want a total stranger to know.
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