How safe is your password? Do you use the same password for all your accounts? Is your name part of your password? Is your password, password? That’s one of the 20 Most Common Passwords Leaked on the Dark Web. According to experts, those are all bad practices for password security. If you live in Rhode Island though, you’re part of the state that’s now #1 for keeping your info safe.

How password security score was calculated

Casino.org did a nationwide study that looked at current practices and which states had the best and worst habits. The factors they took into account: password re-usage, password variation, auto-generated password, password character length, and password duration. Here are some of their key findings:

  • A whopping 73.6% of Americans admit that they reuse the same password for multiple account.
  • People don’t commonly use auto-generated passwords. About 66% don’t use them.
  • The average American uses 27.6 passwords.

The best and the worst states

When it comes to who’s nailing it, Rhode Island is the winner hands down with a 100 out of 100 score! On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Wisconsin with a 0 out of 100 score. Wow, Wisconsin isn’t even trying. The rest of the best, well at least the top 5 include:¬†Louisiana¬† with 83.62/100, Maine 59.82/100, Maryland 46.57/100, and New Mexico 46.03/100.

Where was Massachusetts? Below average, scoring 33.83/100.

The worst state after Wisconsin with their zero score: Oklahoma at 1.04/100, Mississippi 1.79/100, Alabama 3.94/100, and Nevada at 6.26/100.

It’s scary out there in cyber world

October is Cybersecurity month. Sounds like a good time to get ourselves together when it comes to staying safe online. According to the Cyber infrastructure Security Agency, at least 30% of U.S. home have been infected by malicious software. They also estimate that over 600,000 Facebook accounts are hacked every day. Every. Single. Day. And almost half of American adults have had their personal info exposed by cybercriminals. Scary stuff. And while there are a lot of things that are out of our control, there are some actions that we can take to make our online experience safer.

 

  • Create a long password

    A white keyboard with three post-its on it. one that says password, another that says "my password 123456" and another that says "Password 45Mgy vJpo"

    We all need to do a better job with choosing passwords. Believe it or not, the most common password is “password.” That’s followed by “123456.” Not only are they common, but they don’t have enough characters. Most people use between 9 and 11 characters, but a better practice is to use at least 15 characters for your password.

  • Make sure your password is unique

    Hands over a keyboard with images of cybersecurity "locks" hovering over the keyboard.

    Be sure to pick passwords that aren’t used anywhere else. Your Netflix account shouldn’t have the same password as your Disney+ account, or bank account, or any other account. While it seems like A LOT, and it is, but it’s better than having someone steal all your info.

  • Use a randomly-generated password

    Closeup of male hand holding modern mobile phone with red screen and warning icon with the text SCAM ALERT This site has been reported as fraudulent. Abort connection .

    A little over 33% of Americans say they use auto-generated passwords. These use a mix of numbers, upper and lower-case letters, and special characters. Think you’ll forget them? You can always get a password manager to take care of that. Here’s a review of the best password managers.

     

  • Don't use personal information as a password

    Man holding cell phone in one hand and the other hand on his chin like he's thinking.

    Never, ever, ever, use any form of personal information for your password. I am so guilty of this! I will definitely be getting a password manager, and changing mine. Don’t use your: name, birthday, email address, username, kid’s name, kid’s birthday, etc. I know it makes it easy to remember, but it also exposes you to hackers.

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