The worst passwords of the year, unveiled

A strong password is often described as the first line of defense against identity theft, and the breach of personal electronics and accounts. But if a recent list released by password software company SplashData is any indicator, most people need to hit the password creation gym.

According to the annual list of the internet’s top 25 most commonly used passwords, compiled from over 3.3 million leaked passwords, “123456” and “password” are the most popular.
If that password sounds familiar, it is because it is eerily similar to one found in a joke within comedian Mel Brooks’ 1987 film parody, ‘Spaceballs:’

Obviously that password doesn’t cut it – and adding another digit won’t help much. But what are some of the others that made the list?

  1. 123456 (Unchanged from 2013)
  2. password (Unchanged)
  3. 12345 (Up 17)
  4. 12345678 (Down 1)
  5. qwerty (Down 1)
  6. 1234567890 (Unchanged)
  7. 1234 (Up 9)
  8. baseball (New)
  9. dragon (New)
  10. football (New)
  11. 1234567 (Down 4)
  12. monkey (Up 5)
  13. letmein (Up 1)
  14. abc123 (Down 9)
  15. 111111 (Down 8)
  16. mustang (New)
  17. access (New)
  18. shadow (Unchanged)
  19. master (New)
  20. michael (New)
  21. superman (New)
  22. 696969 (New)
  23. 123123 (Down 12)
  24. batman (New)
  25. trustno1 (Down 1)

So what can you do to enhance your personal and work passwords? (Or influence others to improve theirs?)

The best thing that you can do is to exceed guidelines set when you create a password for an account or piece of software, using two-factor authentication if available.

It also helps to remind yourself (and often) how inconvenient it can be to have your account hacked.

Just look at the recent Sony Pictures breach, and the scores of people who have their credit card data stolen on an increasingly regular basis. Do you really want to increase the risk of a problem simply because it is a little inconvenient to remember a stronger password?

Tips for creating a stronger password

  1. Use at least eight characters within the password
  2. Do not use complete words (especially your name)
  3. Refrain from using personal information (including birthdays, usernames, place of work)
  4. Use variations in letter case, numbers, and symbols
  5. Change your password often! (And set up reminders to do so)

While these tips aren’t going to keep you 100% secure no matter what, every little effort counts. So please, change your passwords (and the combination on your matched luggage).

Join the discussion!

Share your feelings on the most popular passwords used on the internet in the comments below, or tweet @UptrendsMonitor!

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