Do not play football with your password, play hard
When it comes to password, I am pretty predictable. You can guess correctly my password if you truly know me. But password should be what they are – password; hard to predict and beyond the ordinary.
Unfortunately, I am not the only person who indulged in this risky habit of using easy-to-guess passwords. Millions of people in the world use passwords that could be guessed correctly, even on the first try, by people who necessarily do not know them.
According to SlushData, among the most common passwords in 2015 are ‘12345’, ‘qwerty’ and ‘password’. The latter is funnily ironical to me.
SlushData collated passwords from data breaches in America and Western Europe to build samples and adjudged “123456”, for the fifth year running, the most common password.
Also hugely popular are ‘login,’ ‘123456’, ‘12345678’. You can also find ‘football,’ ‘star wars,’ and ‘monkey’ on the list.
The top 25 most popular passwords are:
*123456 *password *12345678 *qwerty *12345 *123456789 *football *1234 *1234567
*baseball *welcome *1234567890 *abc123 *111111 *1qaz2wsx *dragon *master
*monkey *letmein *login *princess *qwertyuiop *solo *passw0rd *starwars
So how do you then pick a perfect password, well, let us say almost perfect password? Here is how.
- Don’t re-use passwords. One ultra-secure one won’t be any good if someone finds it
- While combining upper and lower case passwords with numbers to alter a memorable word – M4raD0na – is often advised, these are more easily cracked than you might think
- Good advice is to make a memorable, unusal sentence: “I am a 7-foot tall metal giant” is better than “My name is John”, and use the first letter of each word with punctuation: “Iaa7-ftmg”
- Alternatively, you can use a password manager such as 1Password, which can generate secure passwords and store them online
- The best way to protect yourself is to use two-factor authentication, which will send a text with a code or use an app to verify your log-in