Almost daily we're inundated by advertising to purchase software to protect ourselves and our so-called identities online from cyber criminals and hackers that would steal our information. We're reminded of the huge hassle in our modern lives clearing ourselves and our credit reports would be if we were victimized.

But one thing that isn't often discussed is passwords. Hackers use a variety of modern software to break into the business institutions that hold our information. Not just the banks and credit card companies, but all those retail business we shop online and leave our information in their systems for our own convenience are the targets of cyber thieves.

One of the tools they use is called a Rainbow Table a cryptographic program that sort of reverse engineers our passwords, based on our other computer habits. It's difficult to explain, but know the hackers have the most up to date software to get at your information.

Don't Help The Criminals

A good password combination uses the elements you're told to use every time you set one up. A combination of upper and lower case, special letters, symbols and numbers, eight to ten characters in length. A friend (who claims he's never been hacked) says he uses combinations of old addresses in his life.

For example, the Townsquare Media address in Lake Charles is 900 N. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles. In taking a cue from my friend I might set my passwords as: 900Nlakeshore! The password has all the correct elements, it's easy to remember and typically, hacker software does not look for numbers first in the sequence.

Of course, the above is a sample and not my real office password.

Ten Passwords the Hackers Know and Will Get To You If You Use Them

If you have a password like one of the following, you're probably gonna get hacked. You may have been already in fact. Some hackers don't want to steal from you, but just to use your computer as a 'bot'. A clone for their own misdeeds to operate from, these are ten of the easiest and unbelievable is the number of people that feel safe using them.

1. 123456  Seriously? If this is your password I'm personally going to hack you.

2. password This password actually set off an international political conundrum.

3. 12345678  See number one above.

4. qwerty

5. 12345

6. 123456789

As you can see, inventing a password by simply going down the row of keys has been thought of and used to death.

7. football Who are you? The head coach at Alabama?

8. 1234  This isn't even long enough for most applications anymore.

9. 1234567

10. baseball It's my favorite game, but please add in some numbers or something.

So those are the top ten hack-able, like in milliseconds, passwords over the past few years. And unless you're in a cubicle in a crowded office, jotting down a password or two and keeping it in a safe place isn't a bad idea. Also, invent perhaps 3 or 4 key passwords and use those for your different applications. It'll be easier than remembering a ton of different passwords.

Good Luck and Happy Internetting.