Is your online data safe?

passwords2014

I wrote about online passwords just last week but since then Internet security firm SplashData has released their annual list of worst passwords. Each year they look at how easy we’re making it for hackers to take our data, our money and in many cases our identities.

The big news last year was that for the first time since they started compiling the list, ‘password’ didn’t come in at number one. It slipped into second place with ‘123456’ rising to the top position. It would seem that we haven’t learnt much over the past twelve months because they’ve taken the number one and two positions again.

SplashData has announced its annual list of the 25 most common passwords found on the Internet – thus making them the “Worst Passwords” that will expose anybody to being hacked or having their identities stolen. In its fourth annual report, compiled from more than 3.3 million leaked passwords during the year, “123456”and “password” continue to hold the top two spots that they have held each year since the first list in 2011. Other passwords in the top 10 include “qwerty,” “dragon,” and “football.”

If you see your password among the top ten in the picture above, you’re data is in serious danger. In fact, you should take the time to check out SplashData’s full list for 2014. If anything there is familiar, it’s time to change your passwords or get ready to get hacked.

SplashData’s list of frequently used passwords shows that many people continue to put themselves at risk by using weak, easily guessable passwords.

“Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData. “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.”

For example, users should avoid a sequence such as “qwertyuiop,” which is the top row of letters on a standard keyboard, or “1qaz2wsx” which comprises the first two ‘columns’ of numbers and letters on a keyboard.

If you’re looking for a better solution you might like to try a password manager application.

SplashData has SplashID Safe which, as they say, offers solutions for people and organizations who care about keeping passwords and other information both secure and accessible.

I’ve been using LastPass for several years. It’s another password manager which makes web browsing more secure and I highly recommend giving it a try.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist and blogger from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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