Last year saw millions of people’s data hacked and stolen online, from T-Mobile customers to those signed up on Ashley Madison. While this is obviously bad news for those who have had their details jacked, the data posted online can be used to gain an interesting insight into how people protect themselves on the internet.
And it turns out that many people are still terrible at picking passwords. In Splash Data’s annual list of the 25 worst passwords little has changed, with “123456” still, for some reason, topping the list.
We all know we shouldn’t do it, but for some inexplicable reason many clearly still do just run their fingers along the top of the keyboard. Those feeling a little more adventurous might manage to type out “password” or, oddly, “dragon.”
Either way, none of the top 25 passwords are particularly surprising, which in itself is a little depressing in the fact that no matter how often people are told to secure their online accounts, plenty still ignore the advice.
The data also gives some interesting insight into the minds of those using the internet. Sport, for example, is a popular choice for passwords, with “football” and “baseball” both still sitting within the top 25. But it also reflects big events happening that year, with the most noticeable being the addition of “starwars” and “solo” to the list, which could also help explain the resurgence of “princess” as a choice of password too.
We probably all know what we should be doing to at least try and make our accounts less hackable, but let’s just take a minute to remind ourselves. Firstly, and I hardly think this really needs saying, but don’t pick one of the ones below. If one of yours has already made the list, then change it. Choose something that is at least eight characters long, which does not contain your user name, real name, or company name. Make sure it is significantly different from any previous passwords, and include a mixture of uppercases, lower cases, numbers and symbols. And finally, while I know it’s tempting, try not to use the same username and password combination. If you struggle remembering them all, then perhaps you could install a password safe.
Anyway, the full list can be found on the next page. Try not to smash your head against the keyboard in frustration: