jakkapan/shutterstockWith the dozens of passwords you need to keep track of, it’s tempting to find a simple string of letters or numbers to remember and stick with that. If it’s easy for you, though, it’s probably easy for hackers to figure out too.
Software company SplashData analyzed more than 5 million passwords leaked in 2017 to find out which were the easiest for hackers to figure out. For the fourth year in a row, “123456” and “password” topped the list of least secure passwords. They’re likely among the first passwords an identity thief will try, so you’re leaving the door wide open for crooks to steal your information. (Here are 26 more secrets identity thieves don’t want you to know.)
Don’t think that sneaky letter-to-number trick will save you either. Nineteen on the list was “passw0rd,” using a 0 instead of an O. “Hackers know your tricks, and merely tweaking an easily guessable password does not make it secure,” says SpashData CEO Morgan Slain in a press release. (But here are 5 ways to protect your cell phone from hackers.)
Using your hobbies and interests could be easy to figure out too. Also on the top 25 worst passwords were “football” (9), “monkey” (13), “starwars” (16), and “dragon” (18). Cutesy sayings also weren’t hard to crack. Some of the most common included “letmein” (7), “iloveyou” (10), “welcome” (12), and the creative “trustno1” (25). (Learn why SMS text verification for passwords could actually put you at risk.)
Using an easy-to-guess password makes it easy to steal your data. Reusing those same weak passwords across multiple accounts means if a hacker gets into one account, you leave the door open for him or her to make it into other accounts more easily, too. (Find out how to know if your password recovery question is easy to hack.)
The best passwords are at least 12 characters long, and use a mix of characters such as capital and lowercase letters, according to SplashData. (Use this website to help make a foolproof password.) Using a fresh password for every account also helps, so use a password manager to keep you organized. If the password is so hard that even you can’t remember it, a hacker will have a hard time breaking in, too.
Here are the top 25 worst passwords:
To see all 100 of the worst passwords of the year, visit the full list from SplashData.
[Source: Mental Floss]