25 Worst Passwords People Use

If your password is actually “password,” you are not alone

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    NEWSLETTERS

    If your password is actually “password,” you are most definitely not alone. The April issue of AARP Bulletin has identified the 25 worst passwords people use.

    Some people don't take password security as seriously as they should, leaving them vulnerable to problems like identify theft. That’s why it’s important to keep your passwords hard to hack, but easy to remember.

    Despite this, "password" is still the single most popular password used for online accounts. It’s also the most easily hacked by cyber thieves. (Does it even count as hacking when the password's "password"?)

    If your method is changing the letter “o” to a zero to mix up your passw0rd, you’re also not alone. That choice came in at #18 on the list of worst passwords.

    The top 25 passwords to avoid are:

    1. password
    2. 123456
    3. 12345678
    4. qwerty
    5. abc123
    6. monkey
    7. 1234567
    8. letmein
    9. trustno1
    10. dragon
    11. baseball
    12. 1111111
    13. Iloveyou
    14. master
    15. sunshine
    16. Ashley
    17. bailey
    18. passw0rd
    19. shadow
    20. 123123
    21. 654321
    22. superman
    23. qazwsx
    24. Michael
    25. football

    The Bulletin also offers tips creating a strong password.

    • Make it long. One study shows it would take a hacker more than 17,000 years to crack a password that is a combination of 12 letters and numbers. (Good luck remembering it, though.)
    • Don’t just stick to letters and numbers. Use symbols and underscores in your passwords, as well as mixing up upper- and lower-case letters.
    • Finesse your favorites. It’s OK to base your passwords on your favorite foods or TV shows. But it’s important to use symbols and different characters to mix it up.
    • Whatever you choose, use different passwords to access online financial accounts, email, social networking, and even to post comments on websites. Consider changing them every 90 days or so.

    Find more tips here. To gauge password protection, go to microsoft.com/security and select “Create Strong Passwords.”