Meet 2012's Worst Passwords
When you have multiple social media accounts, website subscriptions, and bank accounts, it can be a pain to keep track of all of your passwords, especially if they're complicated. Despite this challenge, finding a way to make multiple, secure and complex passwords is essential to protecting online privacy. Still, some users may be making bad choices when selecting their passwords, as shown by this year's list of the absolute least secure codes around.
SplashData decided to release the list of passwords around Halloween, because people have scary things on the mind, and there's not much scarier that losing your internet or mobile identity.
"At this time of year, people enjoy focusing on scary costumes, movies and decorations, but those who have been through it can tell you how terrifying it is to have your identity stolen because of a hacked password," said SplashData CEO Morgan Slain. "We're hoping that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites."
The top three passwords on the list were also considered to be the worst last year. They are, in order: "password," "123456" and "12345678." It's pretty easy to see why those are easy to guess, as simple codes like these are popular for lazy password-makers. The next two slots are still simple, but slightly more complex: "abc123," and "qwerty" (which is the first five letters on the top row of your keyboard).
The next one may be a surprise - "monkey." Other simple words like "sunshine," "master," "baseball," "dragon," "ninja," "mustang" and "football" also made the list. You'll also see a few names on there, including "ashley," "michael," and even "jesus."
SplashData chose these passwords after looking through files on millions of stolen passwords that hackers had posted online. Small business owners or individuals who uses any of these passwords are urged to change them immediately.
The company suggests using at least eight characters to create passwords, with several different numbers and symbols. To remember longer passwords, try using phrases with spaces, and putting underscores between the words, such as "car_park_city?"
"It takes just a few extra moments to make a password better," Slain said. "If you get started now and make it a resolution to keep it up, your life online will be safer and more secure in 2013."