The Most Popular Passwords of 2012 and Why You Shouldn’t Use Them

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bill-swift - October 29, 2012

For my first email account, I used my middle name as my password. So it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise that my email was hacked a couple of months later. Since then, I've made the effort to come up with hard-to-guess passwords that aren't very hard to remember.

Most security experts recommend using a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols so it'll give hackers a run for their money, even if they're using password-cracking software. Unfortunately, as this list of most popular passwords for 2012 has revealed, most people are just too damn lazy to come up with a good password. Heck, a lot of them probably didn't change the system-generated password their accounts were assigned with in the first place.

Here are the passwords that made the list:

1. password (Unchanged)

2. 123456 (Unchanged)

3. 12345678 (Unchanged)

4. abc123 (Up 1)

5. qwerty (Down 1)

6. monkey (Unchanged)

7. letmein (Up 1)

8. dragon (Up 2)

9. 111111 (Up 3)

10. baseball (Up 1)

11. iloveyou (Up 2)

12. trustno1 (Down 3)

13. 1234567 (Down 6)

14. sunshine (Up 1)

15. master (Down 1)

16. 123123 (Up 4)

17. welcome (New)

18. shadow (Up 1)

19. ashley (Down 3)

20. football (Up 5)

21. jesus (New)

22. michael (Up 2)

23. ninja     (New)

24. mustang (New)

25. password1 (New)

In the parenthesis is an indication of the password's rank from the list compiled in 2011. If you're using one of the passwords on this list, it's time to change it. If you're stumped, try a password generating site like maord to get started.

To determine the strength of your current password, you can head on over here and key in your password to see how good (or how bad) it is. Remember, it's better to be safe than sorry.

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