Consumer Alert: Are weak passwords putting your personal info at risk?

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

A new report finds that millions of people are putting their personal information at risk by using weak passwords.

The National Cybersecurity Center in London analyzed passwords from hacked accounts. It found that 23 million people used “123456” as a password. Another 3 million used "qwerty," the first six letters on a keyboard, and 3 million others used "password."

Cybersecurity experts say the real numbers could even be higher, since people who use weak passwords often use them more than once.

"Because so many people have a tendency to reuse the same logon information throughout their entire universe of logons and accounts, you could be giving someone not just the key to whatever you’re doing that day. You could basically be handing them the house," says consumer advocate Adam Levin.

To keep yourself protected, never use passwords as simple as those. Password managers, like Last Pass, Onepass and Keeper, can store passwords in encrypted files. Most will also generate unique passwords for each account.

To unlock them, you just need to remember your main password. And you'll want to protect that one with two-factor authentication, where you can't log in without a temporary code sent to your phone.

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