Here Are Passwords You Should Never Ever Use

Using a strong password is one of the simplest security measures people can take to protect themselves online. Despite how easy it is to make a strong password, using predictable passwords remains all too common. SplashData recently published their annual list of the most common passwords found on the Internet in 2014 and the results are disappointing.

Here are the 25 most common passwords:

1) 123456
2) password
3) 12345
4) 12345678
5) qwerty
6) 1234567890
7) 1234
8) baseball
9) dragon
10) football
11) 1234567
12) monkey
13) letmein
14) abc123
15) 111111
16) mustang
17) access
18) shadow
19) master
20) michael
21) superman
22) 696969
23) 123123
24) batman
25) trustno1

What’s even more shocking is that many of these passwords, such as “123456” and “password,” make the list every year. If you’re using a password from this list, please change it immediately. You don’t have to be an experienced hacker to do a simple search on Google for the most common passwords.

Qualities of a Strong Password

If your password looks something like “j8X3lz@62$q,” you probably already know what you’re doing. On the other hand, if your password even remotely resembles any of the passwords from the list above, keep reading.

Strong passwords are not easy to guess and they shouldn’t be relatable to you in any way. Here are some general tips for creating strong passwords.

Never use a favorite sport. It’s common, it’s easy to guess and it’s easy to identify with you. This goes for movies, books, or any other familiar words and phrases.

Never use birthdates or phone numbers. People like to use a string of numbers for a password, thinking that those numbers look arbitrary to someone who doesn’t know what they mean. The problem is that it isn’t very challenging to figure out the meaning of these numbers. Never include numbers that have any relevance to your identity or contact information in any password you use.

Don’t use names in your password. Names are easy to guess. Even if you aren’t using the names of your kids or spouse, you still aren’t giving potential intruders much of a challenge. Anything that can be guessed as easily as a name, will be guessed eventually.

Longer passwords are safer. The more characters a password has, the harder it is to guess or decode. We recommend you use a password of at least 8 characters or more.

Use a variety of character types. Every password should include, at minimum, a lower case letter, an upper case letter, and a number. Whenever possible, you should include a special character (#@!) as well.

Don’t use the same login/password combination on different websites. Yes it’s convenient to use the same username and password for everything, but it also significantly decreases the security of your personal information. At a minimum you should create unique passwords for your bank account and credit card account. If you simply refuse to create a unique password for each site, consider creating several passwords to use—one for social media, one for work-related services, one for banking, and one for personal interests.