Passwords are not something we include in our day-to-day conversations. They are supposed to be secret and whenever we have to come up with one, we rarely ask for advice or look for online tips. Well, it seems that the secret is finally out. The most common passwords of 2015 have been revealed and ideas which seemed clever in the beginning have turned out to be quite the contrary…
I will admit, I’m no better. Many years ago, when I was setting up my first e-mail account, I also used “password” for a very hard-to-break password myself. I also remember that this idea came with a feeling of satisfaction. I imagined that nobody would be able to think of such a cunning idea except for me. As it turns out, according to SplashData (provider of security applications and services for over 10 years), many others thought the same thing. Here are the other passwords commonly used in 2015 and where they stand compared to 2014:
So, what do we have here?
It appears that the most commonly used passwords are variations of “1234”. Thinking that they might be making passwords more difficult to guess, some people include more numbers in the series, which is really much of a muchness since both longer and shorter versions are very easy to guess. Consecutive key combinations are probably a breeze to the most unexperienced of hackers, as well.
Other important positions in the list are taken by sports-inspired keys and the trending topics of the year: “dragon” (from the Game of Thrones series, we believe), “solo”, “princess” or “starwars” (since we had a new episode in the series last year) and “baseball” or “football” (because sports will always be popular).
The main conclusion to draw out of these easy-to-hack passwords is that in spite of all the warnings going around, people don’t seem to pay too much attention to setting up bulletproof keys. This may only seem like just another annoying step in the way of creating your much wanted social media, e-mail or whatever else account, but it isn’t. Most of the times, it is one of the only ways to avoid having your personal information stolen.
What passwords should we use then?
In order not to have our passwords in the list “of shame”, there are some easy tricks we could follow:
- First and foremost, no matter how difficult you make your password, make it either easy to remember as well; alternatively, you could use a password manager like KeePass, 1Password or LastPass to store it safely
- A good password could be a long, memorable, unusual sentence; like this, you could also include those so-called security must-haves, as upper-case characters, lower-case characters, numbers, and symbols
- Another trick would be to write the above-mentioned sentence using only the initials of every word; that will definitely make it bulletproof! Example: I used to live on Sommersby Street 11. My house had red bricks. => password is: IutloSS11.MHhrb
- Try using a unique password for every site or service; otherwise, if somebody manages to break into one of your accounts, he/she will hold the key to all the other ones
- Make sure to also set up accurate contact and recovery information (we know it’s an extra effort to type in your phone, mail or an answer to a silly security question only you know the answer of, but it’s definitely worth it).