'123456' and 'Password' Remain Worst Passwords of the Year for Fifth Consecutive Year
SplashData published its annual list of the worst passwords of the year this week, sourced from more than five million passwords leaked on the internet this year. Like previous years, 2018 saw numerous high-profile data leaks, but many people have continued to use easily guessable passwords for their online accounts.
For the fifth consecutive year, "123456" and "password" are the top two most popular passwords online. New entries on the list include "111111", "sunshine", "princess", "666666", "654321", and "donald" at number 23. SplashData CEO Morgan Slain discussed the list: "Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations."
The top 10 most popular passwords of 2018:
Higher up the list, popular passwords include people's names like "daniel", "hannah", and "thomas"; pop culture references like "solo", "tigger", and "lakers"; random items like "cookie" and "banana"; birth years like "1990" and "1991"; and simple phrases like "whatever" and "test". As Slain explained, using super-simple phrases like these for any account online is a bad idea because it's so easy to guess what they are.
“Our hope by publishing this list each year is to convince people to take steps to protect themselves online,” says Slain. “It’s a real head-scratcher that with all the risks known, and with so many highly publicized hacks such as Marriott and the National Republican Congressional Committee, that people continue putting themselves at such risk year-after-year.”
In total, SplashData estimated that almost 10 percent of people have used at least one of the top 25 worst passwords on this year's list, and nearly 3 percent of people have used the worst password at one time, "123456". Most of the five million passwords that were leaked and evaluated for the report came from users in North America and Western Europe.
To help users stay safe, SplashData said that their passwords should be no shorter than twelve characters and have mixed types of characters in each one. Every log-in should have a different password, and investing in a password management app to store everything, generate random new passwords, and automatically log into websites is always a good idea.
Apple itself introduced a new password autofill feature in iOS 12 this year, making it easy to connect to third-party password apps and fill out your passwords throughout iOS. If you haven't tried it out yet, check out our guide on using the feature to find out how it works.