Passwords are important, very important in fact as they're usually the only thing preventing criminals from stealing your personal and credit card information, and using your email account for sending spam (and having your account closed shortly afterwards as a result!) In short it's critical to have secure and unique passwords for everything these days.
Now SplashData have compiled the list of the top 25 most common passwords. They have compiled the list by examining the password dumps that have been posted online by hackers.
The list, which unsurprisingly comes with the password "password" as the most common doesn't come with any great surprises. The most common threads running through these are that they are all very short and most are common dictionary words or proper names. These are all things to be avoided when creating a new password.
You will notice though that the password "qazwsx" is in the list and why shouldn't this be secure. If you look at your keyboard you will see why, as password cracking software looks at common patterns that can be typed on your keyboard.
The list of the top 25 most common passwords is...
It's not actually difficult to create a strong password and I have put a posted I created below (click to view it full size) that you can print out and put on your wall in your home office or workplace.
A strong password should be absolute minimum of 8 characters in length, preferably a minimum of 10 characters and contain a mixture of numbers, symbols and upper and lower case letters. You can use numbers and symbols to replace letters they are similar to, for example using an "&" instead of the letter "a" and using the number "1" instead of an "i" or an "l".
You can also mix things in a way that makes sense when remembering the code you have used to create the password. For example, you could have a password made up of two words of different lengths, where the third letter of each word is capitalised and the fifth character in each word is replaced by a symbol.
Finally you can also, for added security, append to the end of the password, or preferably mix into it the first three letters (or a three or four letter identifier) for the website or service the password is for. For example Amazon could mean the letters AMZ are mixed into your password.
By following these rules it's very easy to create long, super-secure and above all memorable passwords that will help your data and financial information stay safe online.
There are also other things you can do keep your passwords safe. One way is to use randomly generated passwords and password storage software on your PC (with it's own secure password) to auto-fill these in on the websites you use.
Having a super-strong password is so important so I really urge you to tweet, blog and share this post and the poster as far and wide as possible so your friends, family and colleagues can see if their own passwords are in the list.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.