Wednesday, November 23, 2011

25 Worst Passwords of 2011

Is "password" your password? If so change it immediately! I realize the temptation to use a simple password that you can remember and to use it on all of your accounts, but it isn't very smart. If they can hack one account then the next account will be hacked (let's say your bank account).

SplashData created the following list of 25 worst passwords based on millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers. Here is the top 25:

1. password
2. 123456
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football
According to Splashdata CEO Morgan Slain:
"...if consumers or businesses are using any of the passwords in the list, their passwords should be changed immediately."
"Hackers," Slain said, "can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords. Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft," Slain said. "What you don't want is a password that is easily guessable. If you have a password that is short or common or a word in the dictionary, it's like leaving your door open for identity thieves."
Even though thieves have more sophisticated hacking tools at their disposal today than ever before, they still tend to prefer easy targets, Slain said.
SplashData offers some basic advice to make your passwords more secure:
  • Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters.
  • Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.
  • Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for.
Please read the article in its entirety at: When "Most Popular" Isn't A Good Thing: Worst Passwords of the Year – And How to Fix Them

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