Using data that gets accidentally – or in some cases, maliciously – exposed to the world at large, SplashData compiled once again what they consider to be the worst passwords of the year. Sometimes a word makes it onto the list because it’s extremely common, and therefore easy to guess (such as ‘password’), while other times some passwords are so lazy that if someone wants in to your account, it won’t put up much of a fight (see ‘123456’ or ‘111111’).
Since SplashData does this every year, you can see how these passwords fare compared to the same list a year ago, and unsurprisingly the worst three of all haven’t budged an inch.
Some tips to avoid when picking out a new password:
- The longer, the better – a longer password is much more difficult to blindly crack than a short one. If you have trouble remembering a long password, use a favorite song lyric or line of a play, but replace the spaces with numbers or symbols.
- Use more than one kind of character – mix up lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and things like punctuation marks.
- Avoid using any passwords based on a pattern of keys, like a row of letters or numbers on your keyboard, or a progression of the same from the alphabet or number pad.
- Do your best to avoid using the same password on multiple accounts. Once one account becomes compromised, the rest can soon follow.
Here’s the full list of 2012’s 25 Worst Passwords, as compiled by SplashData:
Some fun ones include common names such as ‘Ashley’ and ‘Michael’. and the slightly paranoid ‘trustno1’. Our biggest surprise? ‘Monkey’.
If you found one of your passwords on this list, shame on you! Go change it! If not, change your password anyway – getting rid of long-time passwords is a good way to stay secure.