Your birthday. Your first dog's name. Even 'password.' You have probably used them all as your password at some point. They're all bad ideas. And don't even consider using your Social Security number.

Among Minnesota sports fans, you would probably not be the first to use takeaknee or 41donut as a password. I'm guessing stateofhockey does not pass muster as a strong choice with experts either.

The Minnesota Office of Management and Budget states, "Strong passwords are important because password cracking tools continue to improve and the computers used to crack passwords are more powerful. Passwords that once took weeks to break can now be broken in hours."

Online security provider Lookout lists some of the worst passwords to use.

  • 12345
  • 123456789
  • 123456

Let's assume any combo of consecutive numbers is not going to be very safe. Here are more bad ideas.

  • Qwerty
  • Qwert123
  • 1q2w3e
  • abc123

The Office of Management and Budget suggests passwords be at least eight characters long, not be a name or a real word. They should also include a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

Lookout's list of bad passwords continues.

  • 0 (I can't imagine any site would still allow a one-character password.)
  • 654321 (Clever. Numbers backward. Still not high security.)
  • 111111
  • 123123
  • 1234567
  • DEFAULT

Lookout reports, "Last year, there were 1,862 data breaches...That is an all-time high and a 68-percent increase over breaches in 2020...When data breaches happen, passwords for online accounts are also commonly leaked, leaving consumers at risk for identity theft."

KEEP READING: Another way people will seek to get your personal information is from your dog. Find out how and what you can do to avoid it.

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