Laremy Tunsil’s bad day was completely avoidable. He just needed a stronger password. The star tackle out of Ole Miss definitely is one for the record books: on the day of the NFL draft, a video of a man, who many think is Tunsil, smoking what appears to be marijuana surfaced on his own Twitter account and then a few hours later, after falling almost ten spots in the draft, pictures of text messages with his coaches discussing paying his and his mother’s rent show up on his Instagram page. The NCAA and Ole Miss have now launched investigations into the allegations, and Tunsil may just now appreciate how much trouble he could have saved by having a stronger password.
It’s time that NFL prospects, and the rest of us, came to realize that our password game is weak.
Anyone who gets hacked is the victim of someone else breaking the law. We can’t say whether the video and pictures reflect misdoing on the part of Tunsil or Ole Miss. We just believe that everyone deserves their privacy, and strong passwords are our absolute first line of defense. So when your NFL Draft Day is approaching, and you don’t want the same thing that happened to Tunsil to happen to you, make sure you follow this basic advice.
It’s important too, because after the smoking video reached Twitter, the Ravens skipped Tunsil as the Number 6 pick, leaving him to #13 Miami Dolphins, a drop that will likely cost him a full $7 million in salary in his first year alone.
Ban These 25 Passwords From Your Repertoire
Some passwords just don’t do the job. Yes, sequences of numbers from 0 on up are terrible, but there are also some text-based prohibitions we need to make. Attempts to outwit hackers by hiding in plain sight don’t work. “Password” and “passw0rd” both fail the test, as does “welcome” and “letmein.” Even subtle allusions to your favorite hobbies will get you in trouble, because they are not very original. “starwars” is a terrible password.
Tunsil might find some cruel irony in the fact that “football” was the seventh-worst password of all, according to SplashData.
Embrace the Best Tech
Passwords and digital security more broadly are two areas that are set to see major advances in the coming years. Not only are passwords poor ways to identify a user, but we just have so many cooler ways to do it. Besides fingerprint ID, which is already a reality on most high-end smartphones, we are looking forward to behavioral ID, which takes into account how you touch your phone, including speed, pressure, and rhythm, to protect your privacy, going beyond a single print or password. It’s easy to imagine the 315-pound Tunsil would feel very different than whatever pipsqueak broke into his phone.
Be Weary of Stupid Tech
Some of the so-called advances in password protection will undoubtedly prove less effective than current methods. It’s important not to be awed by the future, because selfie verification may sound cool, but it’s still in development.
So, remember, if you follow our rules, there’s a pretty good chance a video of you doing this won’t surface on the biggest day of your life.