Trick or Treat? Worst passwords of 2012... go change yours NOW

If your password is still ‘Password’ or ‘Password1’, change it NOW!

The year 2012 has seen a mountain of password breaches – Yahoo!, LinkedIn, eHarmony and Last.fm, among others.

With that background in mind, SplashData, a leading provider of password management applications, has revealed its annual ‘25 Worst Passwords of the Year’ list, just in time for Halloween!

“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,” Morgan Slain, SplashData CEO, said in a media statement.

“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.”

While revealing the lust of the most popular – and therefore the worst – passwords, the firm said that “users of any of these passwords are the most likely to be victims in future breaches”.

Even as our online habits evolving, more people it seems are clinging on to the same old convenience-trumps-logic rationale while choosing passwords. How else does one explain that, for the second year running, the word ‘password’ is the most popular password of the year?

Seriously, is it that difficult to understand that by choosing a simple, convenient password, we’re flashing an invitation to hackers to trapeze into our private and official domains?

By its very nature, choosing a password has become a routine task, and it became obvious many years ago that a number of people chose the same words and phrases as their passwords. That’s why many people had ‘iloveyou’ or ‘111111’ as their passwords.

It was all fine until this fact became more than obvious to hackers too – and we’ve had some serious password breaches in the recent past.

In fact, people are so predictable that most hackers make use of lists of common passwords just like these.

Some of the recent password breaches were indeed sophisticated enough to put any national security agency to shame. While it may be difficult to escape if you’re are a target in one of those instances, why give the hacker-next-door any chance by keeping a simple, guessable password?

To give you some insight into how predictable humans are, the following is a list of the 25 most common passwords of 2012. If you see your password on this list, change it immediately. Keep in mind that every password listed here has been used by at least thousands of other people.

Worst Passwords of 2012

#               Password                    Change from 2011

1                password                    Unchanged

2                123456                          Unchanged

3                12345678                     Unchanged

4                abc123                          Up 1

5                qwerty                         Down 1

6                monkey                       Unchanged

7                letmein                        Up 1

8                dragon                          Up 2

9                111111                          Up 3

10             baseball                       Up 1

11             iloveyou                       Up 2

12             trustno1                       Down 3

13             1234567                        Down 6

14             sunshine                      Up 1

15             master                          Down 1

16             123123                          Up 4

17             welcome                     New

18             shadow                        Up 1

19             ashley                           Down 3

20             football                        Up 5

21             jesus                             New

22             michael                        Up 2

23             ninja                              New

24             mustang                      New

25             password1                  New

Source: SplashData

(Home page image courtesy Shutterstock)

 

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