February 07, 2014 | Dev

20 Passwords You Should Never Use

A little known fact about Altos, our developers provide world class phone support to our customers on a daily basis. Pretty cool, right? One of the most common tech support calls revolves around issues with sending or receiving emails. Sometimes it is an easy fix such as helping a client setup an account on a new device; sometimes it is a little more complicated. Unfortunately, all too often the reason an email account goes offline is because the users' account has been compromised. When this occurs it is usually because the password the user had was vulnerable.

Last week, SplashData News released the top 25 WORST passwords. The big news on the list 123456 passed ‘password’ as the worst password for 2013. A title ‘password’ had held since SplashData started compiling the list. This list gave our developers a momentary chuckle as account security is something we talk about with all of our customers on a regular basis.

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Your email account can send out thousands of emails a minute if it has been compromised. Our servers are set to shut down the account automatically when it crosses a certain threshold. This not only shuts down your email but every email account in your company. If that isn’t bad enough, you may end up on a blacklist and be blocked from sending emails to certain web addresses for a few hours, days or even weeks. Talk about lost productivity and potential customer service headaches. All of those situations are avoidable by following some simple rules.

We counsel our clients to use three different types of security features in each password. We suggest the use of at least one capital letter, at least one number and one random character in the password. An example of a random character: $, &, @, # or ^.

In addition to the security features mentioned above, we advise our clients not to use things such as their domain name, first name, kids name, birthday, anniversary etc. as part of the password. Things that are highly personal are easier to remember, but they are also much easier to hack. It also goes without saying that we advise against using any of the passwords on the top 25 list.

Here are some examples of a password makeover: happybirthday vs. HappyB1rt#day, or followfriday, Fo!!owfRid@y. Using some of these simple tips you can protect your valuable online assets. One important thing to remember, if you use a junk 1234 password on even your Pandora account, change it today. It is possible you also use that password on something important as well. Computer programmers look for patterns, and it is a safe bet if you use a password in one location you use it in others.

If you need help re-setting your email password, you can call our tech support team at 603.222.9052. We are always happy to help.

Joe Savitch

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