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Microsoft banning common passwords from Hotmail

Gone are the days where people will use “password” or “querty” as their Hotmail password, as Microsoft is forcing all users of their popular web-based email service to strengthen their password for security measures.

As the Seattle PI reports, Microsoft is banning all common passwords from Hotmail. “Having a common password makes your account vulnerable to brute force ‘dictionary’ attacks, in which a malicious person tries to hijack your account just by guessing passwords (using a short list of very common passwords). Of course, Hotmail has built-in defenses against standard dictionary attacks, but when someone can guess your password in just a few tries, it hardly constitutes ‘brute force’,” Microsoft stated in a blog post.

Users will be required to enter strong passwords when signing up for Hotmail or when changing their password. “If you’re already using a common password, you may, at some point in the future, be asked to change it to a stronger password,” Microsoft stated.

Microsoft password tips

Microsoft recommends the following tips when creating a password: 1) Do not use dictionary words in any language. 2) Do not use words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and abbreviations. 3) Do not use sequences or repeated characters. Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (qwerty). 4) DO not use personal information. Your name, birthday, driver’s license, passport number, or similar information.

You can check the strength of your passwords by using this free online tool.

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