There was a great subtle joke in the classic movie Spaceballs in which Dick Van Patton’s character King Roland is being forced by Mel Brook’s character President Skroob to give up the combination to his planet’s atmosphere lock and after agonizing over the decision, King Roland reveals that his combination is….1….2….3…4….5 and then Mel Brooks shriek’s, that’s the combination to my luggage!
Well, that is what most of us still do with our password and login information with all of our online accounts. In fact, in a recent article I read, it stated that when popular site rootkit.com was hacked recently, the hackers used the same login information on a very unrelated site gawker.com and of the 456 users that used both sites, 77% had used the exact same e-mail address and passwords at both sites. Therefore, but the hackers infiltrating an unassuming site like rootkit, they had access to vital information on other sites like gawker.com and if you used the same login on other sites like your bank and credit card company as well. And many studies have shown that the average internet user follows this pattern.
With so many great and easy to use and in many cases free password manager programs available like Roboform, DataVault or Belio, there is no reason to continue using the same login information on each site. And these programs make it possible to have passwords that are 12 to 16 random characters which is what is truly recommended to ensure online security.
Now, I am off to change the combination to my luggage!