With all of the concern swirling around Facebook and privacy, many users don’t take one of the most crucial steps for social networking safely and responsibly — using a strong password. Facebook has made changes to help users pick stronger passwords, but the built-in checker still allows you to make some poor choices.
As a follow up to their safety-focused list of seven things you should never do on Facebook, Consumer Reports is reminding the millions of Facebook users to choose a password that is truly secure. While Facebook blocks many common dictionary-based words from being used, the system still allows users to choose insecure passwords.
Consumer Reports list of 10 passwords you should never use on Facebook:
In addition to those poorly-chosen passwords we’ve come up with our own list of 10 words or phrases not to use as your Facebook password.
- Employer info
- School name
- School mascot
- Names of groups, artists or shows you “Like” on Facebook
- Spouses name or birthday
- Banking passwords
- E-mail password
- No dictionary based words — even those in a different language
- Pet’s name if you post captioned pictures to your profile
- Anything you might answer in a Facebook quiz
Creating a strong password doesn’t have to be a chore or difficult to remember. Simply adding a number and a punctuation mark greatly increase the strength of a password. You can also use a phrase, condensed to a string of words and numbers, as an easy-to-remember secure password. For example, “WalletPop is my #1 Personal Finance Blog!” becomes the “Wim#1PFb!”.
Before you write off the idea that getting your password stolen is something that happens to “someone else” keep in mind that even the hyper-aware security and privacy minded Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing fell prey to phishing scheme recently. Because his Twitter password was shared with many other services, he had to spend hours changing passwords across the Web.