Psst. What’s your password?
That seems like an absurd question today with all of the concerns about and attention paid to identity theft, cybersecurity and digital privacy. Who would even think of answering such a question?
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel’s team found out it’s not too hard to get people to give away their passwords. Even a guy who obviously knows better, gives up the keys without much fuss.
Then a list of worst passwords comes out and it becomes obvious you don’t have to ask people for their passwords — you probably can guess them.
‘trustno1’ is sound advice but showed up at No. 25 on the 2014 list of worst passwords compiled by Mark Burnett and SplashData. The list is based on the analysis of about 3.3 million passwords leaked during 2014.
“123456” repeated as the most common password, followed by the oh-so-obvious “password”. It is unclear how “12345” jumped to No. 3 when so many websites now require eight characters, pushing “12345678” into fourth place. “qwerty” rounded out the top five. (The top 25 are listed at the end of this post.)
“The bad news from my research is that this year’s most commonly used passwords are pretty consistent with prior years,” said Burnett, an online security expert and author of “Perfect Passwords.” “The good news is that it appears that more people are moving away from using these passwords.”
Some password don’ts from SplashData
- Don’t use a favorite sport as your password
- Don’t use a favorite team either
- Don’t use your birthday or especially just your birth year
- While baby name books are popular for naming children, don’t use them as sources for picking passwords
“Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are,” SplashData chief executive Morgan Slain said in a news release. “Any password using numbers alone should be avoided, especially sequences.
“As more websites require stronger passwords or combinations of letters and numbers, longer keyboard patterns are becoming common passwords, and they are still not secure.”
SplashData is the company behind password manager SplashID Safe.
Three tips to be safer online
- Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters.
- Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.
- Use a password manager to organize and protect passwords, generate random passwords, and automatically log into websites.