“The most common password in America is Password” Chuck Palahniuk wrote in the novel ‘Lullaby’ a decade ago. Of course since then most passwords require letters and numbers. But it is amazing how many times Password is used. These days the most common password in the English speaking world is 123qwerty followed by qwerty123. A recent breach in security at Linkedin has had websites pushing people to update their passwords but it is still difficult to think of passwords that are secure and easy to remember.
So what makes a good password. These days it is unlikely to be just a word or even a word and numbers. A phrase is more common. Anything under 20 characters is probably too easy so you have to think outside of the box. You also need something that won’t be easily guessed by friends or work colleagues. Remember the scene where Kramer masterfully picked at George until he got the ATM Password? You don’t want the creepy guy in accounts getting your passwords that easily. One school of thought is to use passwords associated with things that you dislike. For instance if you are known to be a music fan then perhaps something Bieber related. Having a string of obscenities as a password is not advised. It guarantees that one day tech support will have to ask for your password. Do you really want to tell the people who spend all day in a dark room with not much to do that your password is F#*& like a B^$%@. Of course with all that polite junk in there it is a very good password.
Days and dates can be a good source of passwords. Many women use their wedding anniversary which is a good way of keeping their husbands out of their private files. Although sporting numbers are more common with men. Perhaps in the next few years the ever growing list of passwords will go as biometrics take over although that is an issue unto itself.