A company called SplashData annually publishes a list of 100 of the most-easily guessed passwords people use. Easily guessed means easily stolen.
Let’s dissect some of these easily guessed passwords and explain what each one reveals about the personality of those who use them.
123456. An easily guessed password like this takes no thought to devise, no mental energy to memorize, and no physical effort to type out. Sounds like it appeals to the lazy—and you’d be right for thinking that. But in fact, it turns out that 123456 is beloved by fearless people. Indeed, you need to be incredibly gutsy to use 123456 as your secret code, considering that it’s 2018’s least-safe password.
password. Those who dislike loneliness and prefer lots of companionship choose this one. In 2018, enough of a crowd gathered around password to make it the Number 2 most-easily guessed login of all.
qwerty. The Number 9 most-easily guessed password for 2018. I skipped Numbers 3 through 8 because they were just 123456 with the addition of the next digit or digits in proper numerical order (in other words, 1234567, 12345678, and so on). Using qwerty as a password indicates a fondness for inventing words out of desperation when playing Scrabble. It also indicates a probability of getting hacked a lot.
Still More Easily Guessed Passwords
iloveyou. Coming in at Number 10, this easily guessed password brands the user as a hopeless romantic. Or, alternatively, as someone who maintains unhealthy (and unsafe) relationships with password-protected websites and apps.
admin. Twelve on this year’s list, admin as a password choice means the user yearns for power. Really, who wields more mighty authority than a system administrator? No one. So people type admin in order to feel powerful. Cybercrooks looking to penetrate your computer type admin because they believe in power-sharing.
welcome. This is the password preferred by people who are the friendly type. Hospitality is their thing. Hackers, of course, appreciate feeling right at home inside someone else’s computer. welcome made it to the Number 13 spot on the list of most-easily guessed passwords.
666666. This one marks the beastly serious fan of horror movies. The person who uses 666666 never screams out in terror until the moment his or her computer becomes possessed by devilish criminals. Rank: 14.
abc123. The Jackson 5 and its pre-teen frontman Michael Jackson cause people who choose abc123 as their password to swoon. It also causes hackers to swoon because it makes getting inside a computer easy as abc.
!@#$%^&. Users of this password hope hackers mistake it for symbolic cussing. Not a chance. That’s because !@#$%^& is just 12345678 with the shift key depressed while typing. Easily guessed password rank: 20.
Trends Become Apparent
Millions use the passwords discussed above (along with the others on the list of 100 most-easily guessed passwords) to protect themselves.
And the term protect gets used loosely here.
SplashData came up with this list by sifting through the wreckage of 5 million password-protected accounts hacked during 2018.
If you look at the full list, a few trends become apparent. Many easily guessed passwords consist of a short, simple alphanumeric combination.
Others are the name of a celebrity. (Donald seems to be a top choice just now.)
Still others are a word taken from the field of sports. (Football is a consistent favorite.)
The point of this post is to encourage you to from now on use only strong passwords.
At Valet, we believe a tough-to-guess password is at least 12 characters long and made up of a variety of scrambled letters, numerals, and special symbols.
Valet also recommends you never use the same password as your login at more than one website (or to gain access to more than one app). Instead, create a different password for each website or account.
As well, Valet urges you to use a password generator. They’re available free from lots of sources and are tough to beat for assembling a random combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
Finally, Valet advises you to never share your passwords with anyone, change your passwords often, and use a secure program to store and manage passwords.
If you’d like more information about password strength or just want to pick up more insights about website security, then please send an email to the very helpful and friendly folks at Valet.