Many of us are guilty of it: Making ridiculously oversimplified passwords to make our lives easier.
Internet security services company SplashData has released its annual list of the 25 worst Internet passwords. And it’s not hard to guess the worst password: “123456.”
Below is the list of the 25 worst Internet passwords for 2014.
- 123456 (Unchanged from 2013)
- password (Unchanged from 2013)
- 12345 (Up 17 from 2013)
- 12345678 (Down 1 from 2013)
- qwerty (Down 1 from 2013)
- 1234567890 (Unchanged from 2013)
- 1234 (Up 9 from 2013)
- baseball (New from 2013)
- dragon (New from 2013)
- football (New from 2013)
- 1234567 (Down 4 from 2013)
- monkey (Up 5 from 2013)
- letmein (Up 1 from 2013)
- abc123 (Down 9 from 2013)
- 111111 (Down 8 from 2013)
- mustang (New from 2013)
- access (New from 2013)
- shadow (Unchanged from 2013)
- master (New from 2013)
- michael (New from 2013)
- superman (New from 2013)
- 696969 (New from 2013)
- 123123 (Down 12 from 2013)
- batman (New from 2013)
- trustno1 (Down 1 from 2013)
Although it can make our lives a bit more difficult, it's best to have better passwords than those listed above.
Below are some tips from Microsoft you can use to make your passwords more secure:
- Make sure your password is at least eight characters long
- Don't include your username, name or company name in your password
- You should not use the same password for all your accounts
- Your passwords should contain a variety of characters, like upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols
- Create an acronym from an easy-to-remember piece of information. For instance, pick a phrase that's meaningful to you, such as "My son's birthday is December 12, 2004." Using that phrase as your guide, you might use MsbiDec/12,4 for your password.
- Substitute numbers, symbols and misspellings for letters or words in an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, "My son's birthday is December 12, 2004" could become Mi$un's Brthd8iz 12124 — it's okay to use spaces in a password.
In addition to making a strong password, if you write down your passwords, be sure to keep them in safe places where it is unlikely others will have access. For example, you shouldn't leave notes with your passwords on your desk.
If you decide to keep your passwords in a file on your computer, Google suggests creating a unique name for the file so people wouldn't guess your password information would be inside. Don't name your file something obvious — like "my passwords."
If you'd rather not write down your passwords but have a difficult time remembering them, there are services like LastPass and 1Password that remember your passwords for you. 1Password can also generate long lines of alphanumeric nonsense you can use to authenticate yourself online. However, before using such services, be sure to find one you trust by reading reviews and knowing the company's reputation.