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Unsecure passwords uncovered in LinkedIn hack

27 May 2016 - 09:54 by Simon Crisp

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Earlier this month it was reported that the account details relating to 117 million users of the social network LinkedIn were up for sale in some dark corner of the internet, leaving a lot of people exposed to potential exploitation by malicious third parties.

Experts at Kore Logic burrowed into the available data to determine the most commonly used passwords by those accounts that were impacted in the breach, revealing that plenty of phrases that offer almost no protection are still in wide circulation.

More than 1.1 million accounts were secured with the password ‘123456’, making it the most popular and easily guessable code chosen by those who have a very lax approach to keeping their personal information safe.

The name of the social network itself was the second most common password, appearing over 200,000 times. And plenty of other people used variations on ‘LinkedIn’ by adding a single letter or number to the end to make up their password.

For people who want to use social networking sites effectively, carry out safe shopping online and generally make the most of the internet without exposing themselves to fraud, it is important to learn about the best techniques for creating passwords, while also remembering to change them regularly and use a different password for each service.

Experts recommend that choosing a random string of numbers, letters and symbols will offer the best levels of protection. But a password made up of three random yet easy to remember words may be better, especially for those trying to juggle multiple accounts.

Password management software can make it easier to stay on top of various accounts without encountering memory issues. And using sites that offer safe shopping online with two stage authentication can be another sensible option for consumers.