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  • Top passwords of 2015 – it’s time for a change!

    Adrian Mudd   September 30, 2016

    Data hacking was a serious point of contention in 2015 – and what a productive year is was for online data thieves! 37 million Ashley Madison users had their information leaked to the public, and 15 million T-mobile customers had their security breached.

    Password SecurityFind out more about the biggest hacks from 2015 here.

    In addition to this, a whopping 145 million people were hacked on Ebay; 76 million households were affected by the hacking at JPMorgan Chase (the US’ largest bank); and at Securus (a prison phone service provider), 70 million phone call records were leaked. It’s all detailed here in this great infographic by Information is Beautiful owner, David McCandless!

    Keeping safe and secure online

    Needless to say, keeping your data secure is more important than ever before. But just how well are people protecting themselves online today? Well, Splash Data has compiled an annual list of the 25 worst passwords used to keep data private, and the results are pretty harrowing – many people are just not using their imaginations when it comes to choosing a secure password.

    It’s no surprise that generating a strong password is key to protecting our data, but for some reason, many are clearly using the same generic, easy-to-guess letters that are obvious to decipher. As a result, the list really does shed no new light on the top 25 passwords used, meaning that many of us still are ignoring the warning signs.

    And here’s the list! (updated from 2014 data)

    1. 123456 (unchanged)

    2. password (unchanged)

    3. 12345678 (up 1)

    4. qwerty (up 1)/

    5. 12345 (down 2)

    6. 123456789 (unchanged)

    7. football (up 3)

    8. 1234 (down 1)

    9. 1234567 (up 2)

    10. baseball (down 2)

    11. welcome (new)

    12. 1234567890 (new)

    13. abc123 (up 1)

    14. 111111 (up 1)

    15. 1qaz2wsx (new)

    16. dragon (down 7)

    17. master (up 2)

    18. monkey (down 6)

    19. letmein (down 6)

    20. login (new)

    21. princess (new)

    22. qwertyuiop (new)

    23. solo (new)

    24. passw0rd (new)

    25. starwars (new)

    Pretty unimaginative right?

    With ‘123456’ and ‘password’ is ranking numbers 1 & 2 respectively, it does make one wonder who are we giving the Darwin Award away to here? People are still using popular passwords such as ‘login’ and ‘qwerty’ – it’s no wonder why hack artists are obtaining your private information so easily. Commonplace words such as ‘football’ and ‘starwars’ are in the top rankings. It’s about time we put in a little more effort to make our accounts less hackable.

    Here’s some tips on how creating a secure password (and remembering it)

    • – Avoid predictable phrases Don’t choose something that’s personal or confidential
    • – Don’t choose something that makes perfect sense
    • – Don’t choose a phrase that others are likely to know about you Use a combination of letter, numbers, capitalisation and symbols Use at least 8 characters (12 if possible)
    • – Include spaces to make things easier
    • – Don’t use the same password and username combo

    By adhering to these simple rules, you can ensure that your data and personal information is well protected from hackers and password-capturing malware. Take some time to create a strong, imaginative password and remember to practice using it frequently to avoid forgetting what you chose. Finally, if you do forget your password, it’s not the end of the world! With a Windows Master Key, for instance, you can gain access to your account without needing to know the login details.