Use good passwords

You might have heard of the MySpace phishing attack at the end of last year. Bruce Schneier has analyzed 34,000 real-world user names and passwords and it turns out, as expected, that most of the passwords people use are quite easy to crack. The most common passwords are:

Common Passwords: The top 20 passwords are (in order): password1, abc123, myspace1, password, blink182, qwerty1, ****you, 123abc, baseball1, football1, 123456, soccer, monkey1, liverpool1, princess1, jordan23, slipknot1, superman1, iloveyou1 and monkey.

But also:

I'm impressed that less than 4 percent were dictionary words and that the great majority were at least alphanumeric.


A good password would be a long alphanumeric combination of mixed cases. As this is quite hard to remember I advice you to use the first letters of a sentence you can easily remember, for example "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" will be "Tqbfjotld". (Note: This is just an example, you should not use well known phrases like these, as they might appear in cracker dictionaries.) Use these passwords for MySQL users, Rails database access and in your web application. It is also good advice to check the password when a user is signing up to you application. The problem is that users need many user names and passwords, so they use the same for different applications. OpenID might be a solution.