The Top 50 Worst Passwords of 2018
The New Year is a time for reassessing, reevaluating, and re-resolutioning. People are determined to exercise more, eat better, be kinder to their families and neighbors. We all know the drill. And we’d like to add one more thing to your New Year’s resolution list, one that might be easier to keep than other: A commitment to only using strong passwords in 2019. Because the list of 2018’s worst passwords is bleak, people. But before we jump into that, let’s revisit why strong passwords are so important — and what you can do to make sure your passwords are as tight as possible.
As security breaches continue to mount and an increasing percentage of our lives is online, the importance of passwords as the first line of defense against attack has never been greater. But, unfortunately, too many people are still using the same password for multiple accounts — or using easy to guess, common passwords. That leaves them vulnerable to attack.
But this problem isn’t entirely the individual’s fault. Bill Burr, the man who invented the most common current password guidelines — which include a string of completely random letters, numbers, and symbols or, alternatively, words that substitute symbols for letters — said in August 2017 that those suggestions didn’t work out the way he hoped. The reason? They’re too hard to remember! So people instead just default back to easier to remember — and easier to crack — passwords.
Burr’s new recommendations — which he made in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology — are to string together a few totally unrelated words, remove password reset requirements, always let people see their password while typing, and always allow people to paste their passwords. Sounds good, right? Easier to remember; still hard to crack.
However, plenty of websites still go by the outdated password rules, which means that users are still stuck with a bunch of long, impossible to remember passwords. And, just as Burr noted, that means that even more are just sticking with repeated passwords or weak, easy to crack ones.
So what’s a security conscious user with a poor memory to do? Password managers are one great option. They not only give you a secure place to store all of those passwords, but also make them easily accessible and even provide password generators, so you don’t have to rely on your human brain to come up with something new every time.
If you want to make one resolution that will actually stick this year, make this one: Download a password manager, take the 10 minutes to set it up, and start using it regularly. By August, it will have benefited you way more than that lapsed gym membership you haven’t bought yet.
And, as a little incentive to get you going, here are the top 50 worst passwords of 2018, according to SplashData. See any of yours on there?
- [email protected]#$%^&*
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