Security company SplashData has released its annual chart detailing a list of the worst possible passwords to use. The world’s weakest passwords revealed and it is quite unbelievable at passwords still being widely used online. The list is also a way to teach internet users simple passwords not to use, as well as the types of passwords which are not as secure as people think.
The number one worst password is ‘123456’, which is a reminder not to use strings of numbers as passwords. Also in the top 10 is other sequences of numbers such as 12345678, 12345, 123456789 and 1234. Second in the list is probably the most obvious, ‘password’. According to SpashData, which bases its findings on 3.3million leaked passwords in the last year, claims simple passwords such as family names, birthdays, sports or hobbies. The rest of the top 10 include ‘qwerty’, ‘baseball’, ‘dragon’ and ‘football’.
These kind of passwords are particularly easy for hackers to break into by simply finding out information about the target. With Facebook so common and many personal details are openly available on user’s profiles, hackers can easily find out personal details such as family, hobbies and interests. Luckily, as more and more websites not only encourage difficult passwords, but even prevent anyone from continuing unless a certain strength password is used. A combination of letters and numbers ensure the password is difficult to crack. But one of the main issue that remains is that online users tend to use the same password for multiple accounts, whether its email, Facebook, Twitter or anything else. So if one account is compromised then the rest are too.
One way to improve password strength is to use a ‘pass phrase’. A combination of four random words, whilst easier to remember than sequences of letters and numbers, it is also a lot more difficult for hackers to break. This is because having four completely unrelated words makes it near impossible to guess, or even through a password breaking program, the sheer number of possibilities makes the process much longer.