In case you needed another reminder, your passwords should absolutely not be a single dictionary word. The news that over 8 million user password hashes have been leaked from LinkedIn and eHarmony this week should be enough to convince you stragglers that you should protect yourself by always using strong passwords! And if you’re like us, you’ll also make yourself far less vulnerable by never reusing the same password for multiple sites and services. That helps, because when your password is leaked by a site like LinkedIn, that password can’t be used by hackers to log in to your Facebook, email account, etc on other popular sites to gain more control over your identity. The price of security is often convenience, but you can make it easier on yourself than trying to remember all these passwords by using a password safe like KeePass or PWSafe that can remember them for you, or even automatically type them into websites for you. The time to improve your password security habits is now!
You may also be interested in reading Ars Technica’s article 10 (or so) of the worst passwords exposed by the LinkedIn hack.
Or this article explaining how long it takes to crack passwords based on length.