Another year has passed and a lot of you may be into the annual password-changing trend – that’s when people change their passwords yearly to make it ‘more secure’; but does that really work? Not if you’re using the worst passwords there is!
In an annual study by SplashData, it shows that people are still committing the same password mistakes that they’ve been making for years. Call it the dilemma of the lazy (we are all certainly guilty of that at one point!), but the most used and unsecure passwords in the world are often the least imaginative. If you’re still using “PASSWORD” as your password, or the ever so popular “123456789”, then you are a part of the problem – a problem that’s been making the internet security world a lot easier to navigate for hackers.
“Password” and “123456” still remains as the most commonly used passphrases by people according to the information collected by SplashData since 2011. It seems that people are still not learning their lessons or are still living on the edge of hackers-ville.
The report for 2015 is the fifth annual compilation and contains more than 2,000,000 leaked passwords for the entire year. If any, there seems to be a trend that longer passwords are now part of the mix; perhaps as an indication that websites are increasingly forcing members to create longer passwords for their protection. Still, the longer passwords are incredibly simple. Simple to the point that their length is of no worth as a security measure.
Popular Password Trends
Below are the trending biggest password blunders for 2015:
- Long passwords climb in popularity but users seem to take no notice that the main reason for having a long password is to make it harder to guess. Examples of long passwords that are so easy to guess are “qwertyuiop” and “asdfghjkl”. Both are just rows of letters at a standard keyboard (the top and second row, respectively).
- Numerical passwords remain to be some of the common ones, with “123456” and “1234567890” still on the list of the most popular.
- Sports is still one of the most favourite password themes. In fact, “football”, and “baseball” are both in the top 10 of SplashData’s list.
- Pop culture seems to be focusing on Star Wars, with people using Star Wars terms such as “solo”, “princess”, and “starwars” so much that all 3 made it as new entries unto 2015’s worst passwords list.
- Some words just waltzed their way into the list out of nowhere. Words such as “welcome”, “passw0rd”, and “login” seem so common and yet so unusual.
SplashData’s list consists of passwords held by users from Western Europe and North America. It shows that a huge number of individuals are still knowingly putting themselves at risk for identity theft and hacking by using easily guessed and weak passwords.
Are you one of the individuals using the easily-hacked passwords above? Then you may want to start changing your passwords using the following:
Password Safety Tips
- It is best to use passphrases or passwords that are 12 characters or more that consists of a mixture of letters and numbers.
- Using the same password for multiple websites is not recommended.
- Using a random password generator and keeping generated passwords safe by a password protection software may help.