25 worst passwords of the year

How safe are you from identity theft?

If you’re one of those people who thought it was clever to use “password” as your password, it’s time to smarten up and make a change. Switching the “o” to a zero to make it “passw0rd”? Not much better. Both are on the list of the 25 most common passwords used on the Internet this year, according to SplashData, a provider of password management applications.

The list was compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers, according to SplashData CEO Morgan Slain. He advised that if consumers or businesses are using any of the passwords in the list, their passwords should be changed immediately.

“Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords,” Slain said. “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. 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.”

According to SplashData, the worst passwords on the web are:

1) password

2) 123456

3) 12345678

4) qwerty

5) abc123

6) monkey

7) 1234567

8) letmein

9) trustno1

10) dragon

11) baseball

12) 11111

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 

Here are some suggestions to make your passwords more secure.

  • Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters. One way to create longer, more secure passwords that are easy to remember is to use short words with spaces or other characters separating them. For example, “eat cake at 8!” or “car_park_city?”
  • Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites. Especially risky is using the same password for entertainment sites that you do for online email, social networking, and financial services. Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for.
  • Having trouble remembering all those different passwords? Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites. There are numerous applications available, but choose one with a strong track record of reliability and security.

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