The second-most popular password of 2015? “Password.” Ayup.
Image via Creative Commons License by Chs87
In 2015, a new password came on the scene. Well, kinda.
You see, in previous years, “1234,” “12345,” and “qwerty” were very popular. But denizens of the internet have been paying attention to the advice from security professionals to make them more complex, and so … “1234567890” showed up on the list of the year’s most common passwords. As did “qwertyuiop,” which is (of course) pretty much the same set of keystrokes, but one row down.
Look, I’m not one for passwords so complex that you can’t remember them at all—like #a$B%T6M7ikY@L!0*P*2Q*7^%.
So what’s a person to do?
One good idea is to use a phrase from your favorite author, like the opening line from Hemingway’s novel The Old Man and the Sea:
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
Or Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart”:
True!--nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?
See what that does? Unless a hacker knows that’s your favorite author, and that you pulled that very sentence from the opening line of the story, and can even repeat it exactly, it’s not an easy one to guess. Nor is it easily hackable, since such attacks are usually based on a one-word/number combination. Having all of those spaces between multiple words really helps.
But using a phrase or sentence doesn’t make it so complex that you’ll not remember it. The only problem here is that you might run across some situations where they don’t allow longer phrases as passwords.
In that case, you can always add a number to the beginning and/or end of a short sentence to make it much stronger.
666Oh my God, they killed Kenny!777
So anyway … back to that most popular password list, compiled by SplashData. These passwords are pulled from over 2 million leaked passwords in 2015.
One last bit of advice: Do not use the same password on every site you visit. If by chance one of them is hacked or guessed, then all of your online life is easily opened up to those who wish to see it.
(And for a random password generator based on Sarah Palin’s rambling Donald Trump endorsement speech, check this out.)