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31 Jan 2019

New Year, New Password?

1 February is "Change Your Password Day." A recent study by the Hasso Plattner Institute shows why such a day is needed. According to the Institute, "12345", "123456", and "123456789" were still among the most common passwords in Germany in 2018.

Easy to crack

The problem: these combinations are very easy for a person to guess and even easier for a machine or computer system to crack. The three passwords mentioned can be determined in less than one second using a brute force attack, i.e. a systematic attempt at guessing all possible combinations in a particular character space. Things get even more tricky if the same password is used for multiple log-ins and accounts. This means the attacker can assume the victim's digital identity. Experts refer to this as "credential stuffing."

Has your password been stolen? Take the test

Many people are not yet aware of the explosive nature of the issue. The recent data breach affecting high-profile Germans at the beginning of January attracted a great deal of attention. With the Hasso Plattner Institute's Identity Leak Checker, you can check for yourself whether your account information has been has been leaked and made public on the internet.

Prevent data theft

To prevent data theft, you should use a different password for each service or account. If you have a number of different accounts, it might be worth considering a password manager. As a general rule, a longer character string, which is difficult for a potential attacker to guess, can make the password much more secure. Check out our Guide section for more helpful tips on choosing a password.

Peace of mind with FRITZ!

In the home network, "passwords" play a minor role. For example, all FRITZ!Box models are protected with an individual network key that is created at random. Further information and tips on keeping your WiFi safe can be found in our Guide section.