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Choosing a password used to be so easy. You would pick a word that’s close to your heart, maybe add a couple of numbers to the end to throw cybercriminals off the scent, and you were set. Now, that’s no longer the case.
If you want to stay safe online you’re not only expected to choose complex strings of letters and numbers, you’re also expected to use different passwords on different sites. No wonder so many people choose to use password managers instead.
But not everybody got that memo. Which means many people are still using passwords even your dumb dog or crafty cat could guess with ease.
The 25 Worst Passwords of 2014, Dissected
Every year, SplashData releases a list of the most popular passwords in use across the Internet. Albeit a list compiled from the passwords leaked online the previous year. This essentially makes them the worst passwords to use, or at the very least the most popular bad passwords.
This list is made up of the most popular passwords sourced from the 3.3 million exposed online in 2014. The passwords were sourced from those mostly living in North America and Europe, hence the lack of non-English words and phrases.
Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData, said, “As always, we hope that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites.”
That’s good advice, but right now we would rather focus on the list and what each of the passwords reveals about those people who use them. Hold onto your hats, as this could get particularly snarky.
I’m guessing most people chose this based on its endless use in The X-Files. It’s probably the least stupid on the list, but “least stupid” does not translate into “sensible“.
The irony here is that Bruce Wayne is sure to have had passwords far stronger than any of those featured on the list. Alfred, on the other, is almost guaranteed to use this as his password.
The first password on the list to consist entirely of numbers, which is never a good idea. Repeating the same sequence twice doesn’t help either, especially if that sequence is “1, 2, 3“.
Three 69s in a row may well represent a good night had by all, but that doesn’t make it a good password to use on the Web. Using three sixes also means you worship Satan. Probably.
We’ve already had Batman so I guess Superman was always going to make an appearance too. Let’s not forget that Superman can turn back time by flying around the world, so passwords aren’t likely to be high on his agenda.
The admin password for the universe is ‘password’.
— Gary Lindberg (@gary_lindberg) January 22, 2015
I’m not sure who is more stupid here: those people called Michael who use Michael as a password, or those people not called Michael who still use Michael as a password. The latter, surely.
Either these people think their choice of password is masterful, hence they are the master, or it’s their master password. If the former, deluded, and if the latter, just plain ol’ stupid.
Having Shadow as your password doesn’t automatically make your password shadowy and invisible to ne’er-do-wells trying to crack your digital vaults. At least I don’t think it does…
I can just imagine the playful smile that played across the faces of all those who settled on Access as their password. It’s so simple yet so clever. No one else will ever think to do the same.
If you own a Mustang then why wouldn’t you want to use the word Mustang as your password. I mean, owning a muscle car is a status symbol and something you want to advertise to all and sundry.
Pretty sure I could learn to fly a space shuttle before I remember my Netflix password.
— Adam (@AdamofAlbion) January 22, 2015
Why the number 1? Why six in a row? Why aren’t people required to obtain a license before heading online? Why are people with IQs of less than 10 allowed to breathe the same air as me?
Michael Jackson is, or at least was, the only person with a valid reason to use this as a password. But then he would have probably used Michael instead. Or possibly [Redacted for fear of being sued].
So clever, so witty, so ironic. No, no, and thrice no. This has been a popular bad password for many years, so it’s safe to assume every trickster and reprobate knows this one by now.
Nope, I haven’t a clue. Favorite animal, I guess. Or at least favorite animal whose name contains the required six letters. Cat would be worse, even though it would please our feline overlords.
If you’re going to use a simple succession of numbers, why stop at 7? Is it sheer laziness or something else less obvious?
I just made the most ridiculous, complicated password ever because I felt challenged by a password rating system.
— doll butts (@findmydolls) January 22, 2015
We’ve had favorite car and favorite animal, so why not favorite sport too. Sadly, this probably refers to American football, the dumb football, the one that only people in the United States call football. Shame.
I can only assume Game Of Thrones has something to do with Dragon making it onto the list. Or the movie version of The Hobbit. Or people’s sheer stupidity. It’s definitely one of the three.
Football, baseball, basketball, it’s all the same really: Meatheads playing with their balls in front of millions of salivating spectators. That doesn’t explain the password thing though.
Some people chose seven numbers, which is bad enough, but these people only chose four numbers. There’s no getting away from it, this is laziness of the highest order.
OK, this is getting tiresome now. Nine is better than four and seven, but it’s still going to be cracked far too easily.
Hell is having children old enough to change your iPad password.
— Gavin Purcell (@gavinpurcell) January 17, 2015
It’s not a real word, which is a positive. Sadly, it is the first five letters featured across the top row of a standard keyboard. Hence, it being called a QWERTY keyboard. Not good enough.
We have already done this.
If you’re using Password as your password then you should seek medical help at your earliest convenience. I’m serious, you need to see someone about that problem you have with your brain.
So, wait a minute. The first six numbers used in succession is the most popular bad password of 2014. Have these people got no imagination? No common sense? No idea of the sh**storm that will ensue when their password gets cracked?
Do You Use One of These Passwords?
Do you use one of these passwords online? If so, tell us why you do in the comments section below, obviously avoiding actually revealing which of the passwords you’re guilty of using and on which websites you use it. Unless you’re stupid, in which case, feel free to invite trouble your way!
Assuming you don’t use any of these passwords — because reading MakeUseOf suggests you have a little intelligence and a lot of common sense — feel free to reveal your strategies for creating and remembering passwords. And if you let a password manager do the hard work for you, let us know which one you use and why.
Image Credit: Eric Schmuttenmaer via Flickr