Internet users are constantly warned against using passwords that can be easily guessed, and still, every year the same passwords appear on "most common/worst passwords" lists. Now, Microsoft is moving beyond warnings and suggestions to completely banning commonly used passwords, according to Mashable.
In a letter on the Microsoft Active Directory Team blog, Alex Weinert of Azure AD Identity Protection pointed out that the team sees more than 10 million attacks on Microsoft accounts each day. By identifying which common passwords the hackers are using to get in, Microsoft hopes to be one step ahead of the problem. Over the next couple months, users with Microsoft accounts (Outlook, OneDrive, XBox, etc.) with weak passwords like "123456," "password," "monkey," or "abcdefg" will be prompted at sign-in to choose a better one.
The company's Identity Protection Team has published a Password Guidance whitepaper [PDF] with recommendations for improved security, definitions of terms like "phishing," explanations about how attacks are prevented, and information about the password ban. Read through it to learn more ways that you can keep yourself and your information safe.