Press-Republican

FYI...

January 27, 2014

The Internet's 25 worst passwords, and what they say about you

NEW YORK — At first blush, SplashData's annual list of the 25 most common passwords - compiled from files posted online in the wake of security breaches - is not the sort of document that instills great faith in the cleverness of the online masses. On the other hand, some password has to be the most popular. Wouldn't it be weird if it weren't something really dumb and obvious?

Keep in mind that the report only tells us the popularity of the top 25 passwords relative to one another, not their absolute popularity. It's conceivable, then, that both "password" and "123456" are less common across the Internet than they were a year ago. In fact, SplashData CEO Morgan Slain confirmed to me via email that the weakest passwords have declined in popularity in recent years - but only slightly. "We keep hoping for steeper declines as people get more educated about the risks of simple passwords (hence the annual list) and as websites start to enforce stronger password policies," he said.

So in the spirit of educational password-shaming, here's SplashData's list of this year's 25 worst passwords, along with our own expert analysis of what each one says about the sort of person who uses it. If you find one of your own on the list, it would be prudent to promptly re-examine your entire life and change it.

               

1. 123456

I can't be bothered to take even the most basic step to protect my personal information. Seriously, just go ahead and take it.

               

2. password

I failed to understand the question.

               

3. 12345678

I tried "123456," but the computer said I had to use at least eight characters.

               

4. qwerty

Aren't I clever? My password is written right there on the keyboard.

               

5. abc123

I'm a fan of the Jackson Five.

               

6. 123456789

I'm a positive-integer maximalist.

               

7. 111111

I managed to find one of the few passwords that's both easy to crack and hard to remember. (How many 1s was it, again?)

               

8. 1234567

Seven is my lucky number!

               

9. iloveyou

I'm Theodore Twombly.

               

10. adobe123

You may have cracked my Adobe password, hacker, but you'll never guess my password for Microsoft!

               

11. 123123

Aha! You were expecting 123456, weren't you.

               

12. admin

I should be fired immediately.

               

13. 1234567890

I have mastered the base-10 numeral system.

               

14. letmein

Might as well let everyone else in, too.

               

15. photoshop

They told me not to use the same password for every program, so...

               

16. 1234

I can't be bothered to take even the most basic step to protect my personal information, and neither can the people who run this site.

               

17. monkey

I am an actual monkey.

               

18. shadow

I fancy myself quite sneaky.

               

19. sunshine

I cry myself to sleep at night.

               

20. 12345

I cannot be bothered to take even the most basic etc.

               

21. password1

My last password was compromised, so I added a "1" this time for extra security.

               

22. princess

I'm waiting to be swept off my feet by a Nigerian prince.

               

23. azerty

Hey, at least it's better than qwerty.

               

24. trustno1

It's not paranoia if they really do keep guessing my password.

               

25. 000000

My day job is coming up with nuclear launch codes.

               

        

      

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 23, 2014

  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 18, 2014

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 17, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 12, 2014

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140516-recalls_1357_88cb85dbc81b724b4ae9c83db4426fd8.jpg Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go

    With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • The science of shyness

    Shy people have quite a bit to contend with - not least the word itself. It has a number of different meanings, none of which are flattering. To "shy away" from something implies avoidance; to "shy" can also mean to move suddenly in fright; to "be shy of" something can mean to come up short, or be insufficient.

    July 8, 2014

  • Wanna write a pop song? Here's a foolproof equation

    Pop songs (generally) stay in one key, are in 4/4 time, last between three and five minutes, are organized into chunks of four or eight bars, have a repeating chorus played two to four times, include the title sung at least three times, and feature short melodic fragments that repeat a lot to help everyone to remember them.

    July 7, 2014