As we are approaching the new year, it is often a good time to reflect on the past 12 months and what we have learned, and in some cases not learned, about our behaviours and actions online.
The annual list of the worst passwords being used has recently been released, giving us another chance to see if our passwords are secure enough to withstand hack attempts and up our games when it comes to cyber security.
However, it can also backfire and show that we have not learnt anything about our mistakes of the past few years. Unfortunately, this seems to be the case once again, as people continue to use ‘123456’ as a password. This has taken the number one spot again this year, and has now been the worst password in use for the fifth year in a row.
Second place was taken by another usual suspect, with ‘password’ itself taking the second spot, ahead of many other numerical patterns. The top 10 in full is as follows:
The list itself details the top 100 passwords, and one new entry in this year’s list is of particular note, with the password ‘donald’ making its debut at number 23, in between ‘aa123456’ and ‘password1’. It would seem that the inspiration behind many people creating passwords is the current US President Donald Trump. He himself has had many online blunders in his time at the White House ranging from spelling and grammatical errors, to a rogue Twitter employee deactivating his account.
The rankings were composed by SplashData, a company that develops password management software. It analysed over five million passwords that had been leaked online over the past 12 months, which no doubt highlights that people are still using passwords that are weak and easy to guess.
Morgan Slain, the CEO of SplashData is confused as to why people are continuing to put themselves at risk by using poor passwords despite there being plenty of high-profile cases of data hacks and breaches. Slain calls it a ‘headscratcher’ and doesn’t understand why people would use their own names or those of celebrities, such as ‘Donald’, as these are highly predictable.
Slain urges people to change their passwords to something more secure, and hopes that the release of this list will convince them to do so, especially if they see their passwords on the list. The top 100 in full can be seen here.