The worst password of 2015 has been crowned, the alarmingly simple code eventually trumping all of its worthy competitors, in a report recently released by SplashData.
With no further ado, 2015’s most obvious and ineffectual password is…123456. It appears that ever since 2011 this has been the most frequently hacked watchword chosen by online users, managing year after year to vanquish its main adversary, “password”.
It’s unclear why people persist in choosing such obvious and easily crackable strings of characters when attempting to protect their online privacy and their confidential data.
Especially in the last few years, when rankings listing the world’s weakest passwords have gained more and more publicity, Internet users should’ve become savvier about the need to discourage potential hackers more effectively.
And yet, after analyzing more than million passwords that have been leaked during the course of 2015, SplashData researchers, based in Los Gatos, California, have come to the conclusion that an alarmingly high number of people still rely on virtually useless passwords, repeating the same mistake year after year.
Apparently, the second runner-up in the ranking listing the most futile passwords across the globe is 12345678 now, having surpassed last year’s third-place finisher (12345).
An almost just popular choice among cybernauts is “qwerty”, which now occupies the 4th place in last year’s list of pointless passwords.
Overall, the ranking containing the silliest strings of characters associated with online accounts includes several ascending sets of digits (such as 12345, 123456789, 1234, 1234567, 1234567890), and equally unfortunate groups featuring just one digit being repeated several times (such as 111111).
There are also letter and number combinations, based either on alphabetical order (like abc123), or inspired by the QWERTY keyboard layout (such as the well-known “qwerty” password, or new entries like “1qaz2wsx” and “qwertyuiop”).
It looks like some people are trying to increase the number of characters in their passwords, hoping that this will result in added security. And yet, as researchers explain, as long as patterns remain so predictable and simple, extra length doesn’t actually provide any heightened protection.
Also, it appears that in 2015 certain users have being opting for passwords evoking their passion for sports, with “football” and “baseball” being among the most frequently encountered choices.
Others have shown how much they were looking forward to the latest Star Wars installment, with watchwords such as “solo”, “princess” or “starwars”.
Another category of codes offering no protection whatsoever were related to the actual sign-in process, with words such as “passw0rd”, “master”, “login”, “letmein” and “welcome” also being excessively popular choices among computer users.
Rounding out the top 25 list featuring 2015’s worst passwords were “monkey” and “dragon”, although both of these codes appear to have lost much of their appeal compared to last year.
Hopefully, this new ranking will help people know which words of identification to avoid at least from this point onward, and convince them to imagine passwords that are random, lengthy, intricate (combining letters in different cases, numbers and symbols) and yet easy to memorize and recall.
However, if recent history is anything to go by, it’s very likely that we will see nearly the same old list of dangerously popular passwords come 2017 as well.
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