Analysts at SplashData went through files containing millions of stolen passwords to pick out the worst, least secure passwords of 2013.
We are all told again and again to make sure our passwords have numbers, dashes, pounds or punctuation however it seems that majority of people don’t do this.
In fact, the most common password of 2013 was in fact “password”, one of the easiest words to hack. Followed by “password” was “123456” which of course again is both obvious and easy to bypass.
“More short numerical passwords showed up even though websites are starting to enforce stronger password policies,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData. “New to this year’s list are simple and easily guessable passwords like ‘1234’ at number 16, ‘12345’ at number 20, and ‘000000’ at number 25.”
In fact, “12345678” was the third most popular password and in the top 25 “123456789” and “1234567890” also appeared, suggesting that people either think that they will never get hacked or that because their password is so long, no one could ever guess it.
But hacks do happen, and to big companies too. During the Adobe breach, the most popular passwords that were released were “adobe123” and “photoshop” making it extremely easy for hackers.
Other popular passwords worth mentioning from the list include “azerty”, “princess”, “trustno1” and “monkey”.
So, what makes a password strong?
SplashData advises that a strong password contains a variety of characters in both upper and lower case, numbers, punctuation and symbols. For example, “[email protected]%90sg#Bw”. Of course, while a password like this is strong, who can remember it?
Remembering your password is also important so you don’t get locked out of your site, it is also important to not reuse passwords across everything online as this also makes you vulnerable.
In order to create a secure password, it is recommended to take several unrelated words and place characters between, before and after them for example, “Coleslaw!1234#applE”
It may not be as easy as “1234” but at least you know its secure.