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Most common passwords revealed – and they’re ridiculously easy to guess

If your password is “123456”, “qwerty” or even “password”, change it right now.

The three terms are among the most commonly-used passwords of 2015, according to an annual ranking from security group SplashData.

The group, which collates passwords from data breaches in America and Western Europe to build samples, said “123456” was, for the fifth year running, the most common password.

HOW TO

Pick a password

  • Don’t re-use passwords. One ultra-secure one won’t be any good if someone finds it
  • While combining upper and lower case passwords with numbers to alter a memorable word – M4raD0na – is often advised, these are more easily cracked than you might think
  • Good advice is to make a memorable, unusal sentence: “I am a 7-foot tall metal giant” is better than “My name is John”, and use the first letter of each word with punctuation: “Iaa7-ftmg”
  • Alternatively, you can use a password manager such as 1Password, which can generate secure passwords and store them online
  • The best way to protect yourself is to use two-factor authentication, which will send a text with a code or use an app to verify your log-in

Predictably, the most popular passwords are by definition terrible – sequential lines of numbers, “master” and so on. “123456”, “12345678” and “12345” were all in the top five.
But “football”, “monkey” and “starwars” also made the list. Strangely, “football” gained three places last year, at the expense of “baseball”.
Needless to say, if any of the passwords on this list are yours, you should change them. The data shows that at least some people are still failing to heed even the most basic security principles about secure codes.

Last year’s hack of dating website Ashley Madison, in which millions of passwords were revealed, showed a similar trend. “123456”, “12345” and “password” were among the most popular, although some were at the bluer end of the spectrum.

One of the simplest ways to access someone’s online account is to guess a password, and hacking software tends to try the most common codes first. When a code is guessed, hackers also tend to try other online services the victim may use, such as banking, in an attempt to access other details.

The 25 most common passwords

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