Internet security is more important than ever, and protecting yourself starts with a good password. Unfortunately, most people are either unaware of the dangers a bad password can bring, or simply don’t think a hacker will ever attack them. 

On average, a hacker can guess your password in about 50 attempts. To protect your accounts, both personal and professional, avoid these top five mistakes.

1. Sequential Numbers and Letters

This year, the most used password is “123456”.  That means that hackers will try this password before any other. Similar passwords like “1234” or “abc123” are just as easy to guess. Sure, it’s quick and simple, but you’re only setting yourself up for disaster.

2. "Password" or "Password1"

“Password” has been in the top 2 passwords for Americans for years. It’s easy to remember, but that means it’s easy to guess, too. Like “password”, words like “qwerty” or phrases like “letmein” are too popular to use. Don’t fall into the laziness trap!

3. Names

Typing in the name of your spouse, child, or favorite pet to open your account might give you the warm fuzzies, but it’ll also get you hacked. These names are easy to find online, especially through Facebook. Steer clear of using names in your password, and you’ll be much safer.

4. Birthdays and Anniversaries

Similarly to names, birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates are found easily through Facebook or other social media. It’s best to avoid using these numbers when creating a password. Also, don’t mix names and dates, particularly if they are related (i.e. a spouse’s name and their birthdate). 

5. Sports Teams

Other popular passwords in the top 100 are team names, or even more generally, names of sports. Don’t use “colts” or “football”, for example. Just like with the last two bad password types, it’s too easy to guess your favorite teams—not only from your region, but also from your social media.  

There you have it, the top five password mistakes. Try to avoid using these types of passwords when you are creating yours, and don’t forget to update them frequently. No password is 100% safe from hackers, but you can go a long way towards protecting yourself if you avoid these common errors.