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'Password' still most popular pa55w0rd, but watch out for 'ninja'

Security software developer releases annual list of the most common passwords on the internet

Article comments

The world is changing and the tech world is changing in particular, but one thing remains the same. A lot of people use terrible passwords.

Splashdata, a security software developer, released its annual list of the most common passwords on the internet. Once again, "password," "123456," and "12345678" are the three most popular, in that order.

The list of most common passwords is based on file dumps from online hackers. Splashdata notes that 2012 saw several high-profile security breaches, including Yahoo, LinkedIn, eHarmony, and Last.fm. The company says it releases its annual list to raise awareness of bad passwords--and, just as likely, to promote its SplashID password management software.

Obvious

In addition to the usual face-palm provokers such as "abc123'"and "qwerty," the list includes some returning oddballs: "monkey," "baseball" and "shadow." A few of the new entries are more unexpected: "jesus," "ninja," and "mustang" all made the top 25.

On a more encouraging note, "password1" cracked the top 25 this year, so perhaps people are learning that a combination of letters and numbers makes for a stronger password. (Now they just need to work on not picking the most obvious of each.)

Here's the full list and how it compares to last year's:

  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)

Solutions

We're probably preaching to the choir but a strong password contains letters, numbers, and symbols - you can use short phrases separated by underscores if you're worried about remembering a long sequence.

Also, try not to use the same password over and over, especially for sensitive accounts such as banking and email.

If all that sounds like too much, there are always third-party tools to help, such as LastPass, 1Password, Roboform, eWallet, SplashID,  or KeePass.

You can also set up two-step authentication with Google or Facebook. Some websites allow you to sign through Google or Facebook, using them as a sort of master key, so two-step authentication will add an extra layer of security.



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