Dec. 20, 2017
The movie Hackers hit theaters back in 1995. In it, there’s a scene where the main characters list the most common passwords people use. They’re predictably bad: love, sex, secret, and god. 22 years later, millions of people are still using passwords that are just as terrible.
SplashData, makers of the SplashID password manager, have compiled a list of the 100 worst passwords of 2017. The five most common that SplashData found in this year’s password dumps: 1232456, password, 12345678, qwerty, and 12345.
Things don’t improve much after that. The counting game continues with 123456789 and 1234567 (at numbers 6 and 8, respectively). Some folks decided to get “clever” and flip things around: 654321 appears at number 26 on the list.
Banging in consecutive numbers or letters on your keyboard is a terrible idea. Choosing common words from the dictionary isn’t any better. Among those that made SplashData’s list: welcome, monkey, football, dragon, master, and cheese. Today’s brute-force hacking tools will guess simple passwords like those in a heartbeat.
Some folks did make an attempt at crafting complex passwords, though they ultimately missed the mark. Swapping out the “o” in password for a zero or 1 for the word one won’t even fool the least-skilled of hackers these days.
SplashData’s full list is available here in PDF format. Do yourself a huge favor: if you see a password on this list and you’re using it to secure any of your online accounts — even one you don’t think is important enough to care about — go and change it immediately. Even an account that seems insignificant could allow a skilled hacker to execute a sophisticated attack against you. Worse still, they could use that account to impersonate you and launch attacks against your family and friends.
You can also save yourself a lot of headaches by using a quality password management app. There are plenty of good options to choose from, like SplashID, LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane. Those who prefer the DIY approach to a subscription-based service may want to check out the free, open source app KeePass.