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24 October 2012, 16:49

The 25 worst passwords of the year

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SplashData, which provides password management applications, has published its annual list of the "25 worst passwords of the year". While the top three entries haven't changed from last year's list, there are several new contenders this year with "welcome", "ninja", "mustang", "jesus" and "password1".

Unchallenged as the most used, yet terrible password is still the simple "password", with an ascending sequence of the first six and eight numbers in a row making up the remainder of the top three. Classics like "qwerty", "monkey", "iloveyou" and "master" are still featuring prominently, as are "baseball", "football" and other simple dictionary words.

The list of passwords was compiled by analysing several millions of stolen passwords, resulting from various data breaches and break-ins, which hackers have posted on the internet. Anyone using one of the passwords on the list should obviously change them immediately. In general, it is never a good idea to use simple dictionary words as passwords and anything as obvious as "12345678" is trivially easy to guess.

Microsoft's Safety & Security Center provides a guide on how to create strong passwords that includes an online password checking service. Google also provides guidance on how to create sensible and more secure passwords.


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