One night my landlady told me, that she had some “Notification failures” in her Hotmail inbox and if I can help her, since I work for a software security company. So of course I agreed and had a look at her Inbox. It was full of “Notification failure” messages, that some email was not delivered, that some mailbox doesn’t exist and so on. So I had a look at her sent messages and I saw a lot of sent emails to many many emails in BCC (blind carbon copies). Wow, it was the first time I have seen some hacker just hacking someone’s email account and using it for spamming. That was scary. Really scary.

So I told her to immediately change her password and also to tell me her password and guess what, it was the most common password ever!! 123456. Oh my gosh! I was shocked! And then when we tried to change the password I have realized that she had been using this password since  she created her email account. Since 1998! That’s right! She had the same poorest password for 12 years. She is lucky that someone hacked her email just 2 weeks ago. So I tried the password changing process and it stopped me with the message: “Please update your browser and system” because she hadn’t updated her browser and system for 2 years! Yes, 2 years. So we had a lot of updates to go through and after 3 hours I was finally able to change her mail account password. So I asked her what password she wanted to use and she told me “Well, if 123456 is not secure enough, lets go with my other password happyhappy.” Oh my gosh again! Come on!

So I told her the basics of selecting a strong password and, of course, I told her about Sticky Password and all of its benefits. She was so surprised about all the password management topics and she also told me, that she has been using 2 passwords for all of her accounts all her life.

Now she is in the middle of starting her new online life.

Petr P