Bans on Dumb Passwords: Elimination of Common Passwords Should Help Internet Security
123456. Password. 12345678. Qwerty. Abc123. Iloveyou.
These common passwords are dumb passwords.
Microsoft knows this.
You should too.
The everlasting and ongoing battle for internet security starts with the end-user ensuring their password can’t be hacked by common sense.
While leaked passwords are certainly never a good thing, Microsoft is making some good from data about common passwords compromised during leaks.
They’re banning common passwords for their services.
Why would Microsoft Do This?
Letmein will not let you in. That’s a good thing.
Over the years, the secret surrounding common passwords has been out. Hackers have several options they can try out before all else fails. Systems have adapted to try and make passwords more secure – for instance, capital letters, numbers and special characters have become more of a common requirement over time. However, is P@ssword1 more secure than password?
An infographic presented by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2015 unveiled some eye-catching stats.
21% of people use passwords that are over 10-years old, and 47% have been using the same password for over 5 years.
54% of people use 5 or fewer passwords across their entire online life.
It’s one thing to use “password” as your password for Facebook and get hacked, but what if that same password gains access to your checking account?
Once one company account gets breached, hackers likely have access to nearly all of your business information.
According to the data in Entrepreneur Magazine, 2 in 5 people—or 40% of Americans—have received a notice that their personal information has been compromised, or that they had an account hacked or password stolen.
Hackers rely on stupidity and know common passwords inside and out. Luckily, the good guys have the same information at their disposal.
How is Microsoft Doing This?
Microsoft is implementing a system that will ban poor passwords regardless of whether or not they pass initial security requirements.
According to a blog published in late May, the system to filter out common passwords is already live in Microsoft Account Service and is beginning to roll out in Azure AD.
Common password restrictions will be implemented on Outlook, Xbox and One Drive, among other Microsoft account access areas.
Best Password Practices
Microsoft recommends using a password unique to your Microsoft account, and utilizing a different password for every account you hold as well as the following:
- Do not use a single word password or commonly used phrase
- Make your password hard to guess for anyone – including your loved ones. Birthdays, family member or pet names, phone numbers or favorite things are out.
- Turn on two-factor authentication if available
- Use at least 8 characters – including random numbers and special characters
Becoming a hacking victim is easier than you think – especially if your password is…password.