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2013’s worst password? That would be ‘123456’

Online security

If you worry about the security of the various passwords you use online, then you might at least be able to take solace in the fact that there are people out there who are much worse at coming up with them than you are.

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The 2013 edition of password managers SplashData’s annual worst passwords list would be funny if it didn’t make you want to weep for humanity’s collective future.

For the first time since SplashData began compiling its annual list, “password” has lost its title as the most common and therefore Worst Password, and two-time runner-up “123456” took the dubious honor.

Other climbers include “qwerty”, “1234567” and “iloveyou”, all of which are about as impenetrable as a rotting plywood door.

According to SplashData CEO Morgan Slain, the trend for short numeric passwords is a little strange given the efforts websites are taking to beef up their online security.

“Another interesting aspect of this year’s list is that more short numerical passwords showed up even though websites are starting to enforce stronger password policies,” he says.

The appearance of newcomers such as “adobe123” and “photoshop” can meanwhile be attributed to the massive password leak that took place in late 2013 and are a pertinent reminder that you shouldn’t base your password on the software it’s designed to access.

SplashData’s top 25 list was compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online during the previous year. The company advises consumers or businesses using any of the passwords on the list to change them immediately.

As always, your best option when it comes to try and use a number of different passwords that strike the right balance between complexity and memorability. If you still have difficulty remembering all your passwords then you can make use of a secure password manager.

The best ones will organise and protect all your passwords as well as automatically logging you into websites.

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