NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Consumers should be relying on passwords to protect their personal data on computers, smartphones and tablet computers.
But you can't blame the technology if those password are so obvious that any identity thief can get access.
About 10% of all identity theft cases are related directly to password problems, reports Javelin Research. With 12.6 million victims of I.D. theft, and $21 billion in lost assets last year, not taking care of your password can lead to huge financial losses for consumers.
Unfortunately, some passwords might as well come with a green light attached; the worst of the bunch are so obvious they do little to stop aggressive identity thieves.The Los Gatos, Calif., security firm SplashData offered a list this week of the 25 most common -- and generally useless -- passwords used on the Internet.
- Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters, but not in word and number patterns that lead you to forget the password or transcribe it incorrectly.
- Use "passphrases," meaning shorter words with spaces or hyphens that separate them. (Example: "smiles light skip")
- Don't use the same password or word combination on multiple sites.
- If you have a tough time managing your passwords, try using a password organization app such as SplashID Safe or LastPass.