Crappy passwords… We’ve all had at least one. And we may have used it on more sites than we should have. But 2012 introduces a new chance to get rid of that old password and start fresh! Below is a list of the 25 most commonly used passwords from 2011 based on password databases posted on the web by hackers throughout the year.

 

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1. password

2. 123456

3.12345678

4. qwerty

5. abc123

6. monkey

7. 1234567

8. letmein

9. trustno1

10. dragon

11. baseball

12. 111111

13. iloveyou

14. master

15. sunshine

16. ashley

17. bailey

18. passw0rd

19. shadow

20. 123123

21. 654321

22. superman

23. qazwsx

24. michael

25. football

 

If you’ve found something similar to your password in the list above, it means it’s time to change it. Like…yesterday.

 

  • Length. Make your passwords long with eight or more characters. 
  • Complexity. Include letters, punctuation, symbols, and numbers. Use the entire keyboard, not just the letters and characters you use or see most often. The greater the variety of characters in your password, the better. However, password hacking software automatically checks for common letter-to-symbol conversions, such as changing “and” to “&” or “to” to “2.” 
  • Variation. To keep strong passwords effective, change them often. Set an automatic reminder for yourself to change your passwords on your email, banking, and credit card websites about every three months. 
  • Variety. Don’t use the same password for everything. Cybercriminals steal passwords on websites that have very little security, and then they use that same password and user name in more secure environments, such as banking websites.