Pathetic passwords

The latest list of frequently used passwords shows people put themselves at risk by choosing weak, easily guessable passwords.

This week US comedian and late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel revealed just how easy it is to get people to volunteer their passwords.  Even when they have been told they are contributing to a feature on online security. 

Meanwhile, SplashData has published its list of the most popular – and therefore useless – passwords in use on the internet.  The list has been compiled from over three million passwords leaked in 2014.  Prepare to cringe:

  • 123456 is the most popular password
  • Password is the second most popular password
  • Other top ten password choices include qwerty, dragon and football
  • Popular names, team names and sports appear in the top 100 – avoid them
  • Also avoid using your birth year – several years appear in the top 100

Why it matters

In 2014 there were reports of a massive theft of user names/ passwords and email addresses.  This stolen data becomes even more valuable because the majority of consumers re-use passwords across a number of online accounts.  Gartner is reporting a massive increase in automated attacks in the last two months. "Password compromise is the most common way bad guys get into our accounts."

Resolve to review and spring-clean your passwords!