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Popular passwords

Is your password strong and original? The list of the world’s most common passwords in 2012 again shows that when we choose our passwords for the internet many are weak and unoriginal. Janus R Nielsen from the antivirus company has looked at the list and gives tips on how you can improve the security level and choose better passwords.

Splash Data makes each year a list of the most popular (English) passwords in the world based on millions of stolen passwords that have been posted online by hackers. “It surprises me every year to see how unimaginative these passwords are. They are similar from year to year, which means that people still appreciate the convenience of security because a simple easy to hack password is also wonderfully easy to remember, “says Janus R Nielsen. News on the top 25 list for 2012 are passwords such as Jesus, Mustang and password1. “It just shows that even though you might even think “Jesus” is original, there are thousands of others who think the same.

Janus R Nielsen points out that a large part of our identity today is online, and it is therefore very important that we choose our passwords wisely. Because of social media like Facebook, we have published many of our personal information on the web and that is being exploited by hackers. If you choose your name, date of birth, name of your wife, husband, dog or your child, for your password then you run a high risk that someone will guess it. And that can have serious consequences if you, for convenience, use the same password for multiple accounts, including your web account, he says.

To increase the security Nielsen gives these tips:
– Use uppercase and lowercase letters combined with numbers and symbols
– Make a phrase that means something to you and thus id easier to remember. Ex. “House_burned_in_1995!” or “cathad3kittens.”
– Change your password regularly. Usually it is recommended to change it every every three months, but if it is too much of a hassle, do it every six months.
– Use different passwords for your profiles and accounts.
– Use a password manager program, if you cannot keep track of them all. There are many different kinds, but I think 1Password and LastPass are worth mentioning. There is however a risk associated with using such a program as it can be hacked, but basically you must sum up the pros and cons.

Below you will find Splash Data’s list of the most popular passwords in 2012. The list was made on the basis of millions of stolen passwords that have been posted online by hackers. Here you can also see if a password has become more popular, less popular or unchanged compared to 2011:

1: password – Unchanged
2: 123456 – Unchanged
3: 12345678 – Unchanged
4: abc123 – Moves up 1
5: azerty – Moves down 1
6: monkey – Unchanged
7: letmein – Moves up 1
8: dragon – Moves up 2
9: 111111 – Moves 3 up
10: baseball – Moves 1 up
11: iloveyou – Moves 2 places up
12: trustno1 – Moves 3 down
13:1234567 – Moves 6 up
14: sun – Moves 1 up
15: Master – Moves 1 down
16: 123123 – Moves 4 up
17: index – NEW
18: shadow – Moves 1 up
19: ashley – Moves 3 down
20: football – Moves 5 up
21: Jesus – NEW
22: michael – Moves 2 up
23: Ninja – NEW
24: mustang – NEW
25: password1 – NEW.


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