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Published June 04, 2012, 10:15 PM

Password Protection: Is your password one of the 25 most common?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Inconvenient, one big hassle, pointless; just some of the many words we heard today when we asked people about all the passwords they have to remember these days. Much to the chagrin of many, there's a reason most passwords can't be as simple as 1-2-3.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Inconvenient, one big hassle, pointless; just some of the many words we heard today when we asked people about all the passwords they have to remember these days. Much to the chagrin of many, there's a reason most passwords can't be as simple as 1-2-3.

There are several places in downtown Fargo with free Wi-Fi internet, a convenience stores use to draw in customers, but a word of advice from experts - never access your personal information - especially banking - on an unprotected wireless network. In fact, the passwords you do have - no doubt there's more than one in this day and age - are most likely very hackable.

Theresa Semmens – NDSU Chief IT Security Officer: “There's programs out there that someone who wants to obtain that information will run against and in a matter of seconds, it can determine what a dictionary word is.”

A recent survey of the 25 most common passwords reveals few surprises. At number 1, "password," number 2, "123456," further down the list, "football," comes in at number 25. Nearly everyone knows the struggle of remembering so many passwords - one for banking, another for work, more for social media sites.

Bernice Marthe - Fargo: “It's a pain, I don't enjoy having to look up every time I want to do something.”

Keeping track of all those numbers, letters and special characters can be a chore all in itself.

Kelli Dubord – West Fargo: “I use the same one for a lot of things just because you can't keep track, and it's like if you write it down, you lose the piece of paper.”

NDSU's Chief IT Security Officer Teresa Semmens says that's never a good idea. Semmens says forget about having a password - now you need a passphrase.

Theresa Semmens: “Keep it something that you know and you're familiar with, but others won't be. It shouldn't be your pets name, shouldn't be your children's name, and shouldn’t be your birthdate.”

Still, as many of us have come to realize, forgetting a password, or pass-phrase, isn't the end of the world.

Dan Brown - Williston: “I always have click that lost password, and then they send an email, I go reset the password and I remember it for a couple days, then it's gone again.”

Semmens says it's never a good idea to share your passwords with anyone. She also suggests keeping a lock on your phone at all times, since many of us have the passwords on our phone set to auto.

For a list of the 25 most commonly used passwords follow the Easy Link.

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