25 Passwords that Hackers Love


Internet security firm SplashData has been at it again. They’ve been taking a look at the worst passwords used online last year and there have been a few changes since their 2012 list.

The big news is that for the first time since they started compiling the list, ‘password’ hasn’t come in at number one. It slipped into second place with ‘123456’ rising to the top position.

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 2013. 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. Some other passwords in the Top Ten include “qwerty,” “abc123,” “111111,” and “iloveyou.”

“Another interesting aspect of this year’s list is that more short numerical passwords showed up even though websites are starting to enforce stronger password policies,” Slain said. For example, new to this year’s list are simple and easily guessable passwords like “1234” at #16, “12345” at #20, and “000000” at #25.

The good news is that SplashData has advice that could help you build stronger passwords.

Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters. But even passwords with common substitutions like “dr4mat1c” can be vulnerable to attackers’ increasingly sophisticated technology, and random combinations like “j%7K&yPx$” can be difficult to remember. One way to create more secure passwords that are easy to recall is to use passphrases — short words with spaces or other characters separating them. It’s best to use random words rather than common phrases. For example, “cakes years birthday” or “smiles_light_skip?”

Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites. Especially risky is using the same password for entertainment sites that you do for online email, social networking, or financial service sites. Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for.

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 a while. It’s another password manager which makes web browsing more secure.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster 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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