We shared this info with our employees, and thought we’d pass it along to customers as well to help you stay secure online.

What was the worst, weakest password of 2017?

For the seventh straight year, 123456 was crowned as the worst password, based on a list of more than 5 million passwords that were leaked during the year. A list of the 25 worst passwords can be seen here. (Other big losers included qwerty, 12345678, and password.)

Using a strong password is one of the most important things you can do to keep information private. Here are tips on creating a password that can stand up to both human hackers and password-cracking computer programs.

1. Use at least 12 characters. At least two of the 12 characters should be in unpredictable places – capital letters at the beginning of a password and numbers or symbols at the end are predictable.
2. Don’t use personal information. It’s easy to find many people’s personal information on social media. Avoid using birth dates, addresses, names of people or pets, or your favorite things like sports teams, songs, or lyrics.
3. Create a unique passphrase. Create a sentence that means something to you, but has not been said before. Use the first letter or two of each word as your password and mix in other types of characters.
Sample –
Sentence: The curvy road has 5 big bumps at the end.
Passphrase: tcurrh5BB@ted

Researchers warn against using the same password for multiple accounts, and you should always use two-factor authentication when it’s available.

Finally, don’t hand out your passwords to others or post them in publicly visible places.