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Is your password too weak for Twitter?

world Updated: Jan 03, 2010 01:27 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

If you think you can get away with using an easy-to-remember password like ‘123456’, ‘qwerty’, or simply ‘password’ on the internet, think again.

Micro-blogging site Twitter recently banned users from using 370 words as passwords while signing up for a Twitter account since they are ‘too obvious’ and therefore vulnerable to hacking.

The list also includes the names of popular TV shows, football teams like ‘Chelsea’ and ‘Arsenal’, brands, names of famous cars such as ‘porsche’ and ‘ferrari’, characters and common dictionary words.

Also banned are a few popular science fiction terms like ‘THX1138’, title of the first film by George Lucas of Star Wars fame and ‘NCC1701’, the registry number of Star Trek’s starship Enterprise. ‘trustno1’, Fox Mulder’s password in The X-Files is also in the list.

Research has shown that one in five people use their pets’ names for their passwords, while one in eight use unforgettable dates, such as birthdays. One in 10 use their children’s names.

Security experts advise that a strong password should consist of lower and upper case letters, numbers and punctuation marks.

All passwords should be changed regularly and the same password should not be used for all online services.

To view a complete list of banned passwords, right-click on the Twitter sign-up page and select ‘View source code’, then search for the term ‘Banned_Passwords’.