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Making your passwords more secure

by Kelly Leighton on

Still using 123456 or password as your password for everything?

It’s time to change that habit. SplashData recently released their annual “Worst Passwords List”, showcasing the least secure passwords of Internet users. “123456” and “password” again topped the list as the most commonly used passwords, which they have since SplashData’s first list in 2011.

The list is collected from more than 2 million leaked passwords during the year. This year, SplashData said some new and longer passwords were introduced, but “the longer passwords are so simple as to make their extra length virtually worthless as a security measure,” the report stated.

For the first time, “1qaz2wsx,” which is the first two columns of main keys on a standard keyboard, and “1234567890” and “qwertyuiop,” which are the two top rows of keys on a standard keyboard make an appearance in the top 25 list. However, SplashData said their simple patterns make them an easy guess for hackers.

How can you make your passwords safer? Kevan Lee said the longer a password is, the harder it is to crack. He recommends a password that is at least 12 characters, and has variations on capitalization, numbers, spelling and punctuation. He suggests avoiding names, places or dictionary words.

Once you come up with the “perfect” password, it’s hard to not use it over and over again. But you shouldn’t. Create a new and unique password for each site. Then, save your passwords in a secure place, like SplashIDLastPass or1Password.

Without further ado, SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2015”:

  1. 123456 (unchanged from 2014)
  2. password (unchanged)
  3. 12345678 (Up 1)
  4. qwerty (Up 1)
  5. 12345 (Down 2)
  6. 123456789 (Unchanged)
  7. football (Up 3)
  8. 1234 (Down 1)
  9. 1234567 (Up 2)
  10. baseball (Down 2)
  11. welcome (New)
  12. 1234567890 (New)
  13. abc123 (Up 1)
  14. 111111 (Up 1)
  15. 1qaz2wsx (New)
  16. dragon (Down 7)
  17. master (Up 2)
  18. monkey (Down 6)
  19. letmein (Down 6)
  20. login (New)
  21. princess (New)
  22. qwertyuiop (New)
  23. solo (New)
  24. passw0rd (New)
  25. starwars (New)

Even if your password(s) didn’t make the top 25 list, take a hard look at them. Can they be more secure? Chances are, yes. It’s worth it to update them now.

Topics

Passwords Internet security
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