Most popular passwords of 2014

Each year the passwords that have been stolen to gain access to people's accounts and published online are collected into a list to warn against using bad passwords.

You might think that after four years the list of easy to guess passwords would be replaced by much more difficult ones and that incidents on cyber crime would decline. Of course, that would require you to actually stop using those bad passwords.

You would be wrong. This is Spashdata's list created from over 3 million passwords that have been hacked in the last year.

Rank Password Change from 2013
1 123456 No Change
2 password No Change
3 12345 Up 17
4 12345678 Down 1
5 qwerty Down 1
6 123456789 No Change
7 1234 Up 9
8 baseball New
9 dragon New
10 football New
11 1234567 Down 4
12 monkey Up 5
13 letmein Up 1
14 abc123 Down 9
15 111111 Down 8
16 mustang New
17 access New
18 shadow Unchanged
19 master New
20 michael New
21 superman New
22 696969 New
23 123123 Down 12
24 batman New
25 trustno1 Down 1

Hopefully none of your passwords are on this list.

If you use birthdays, anniversaries or the names of your children, consider something else. Because so many people assume their passwords are unique nor actually discuss what makes for a good password, they don't realise how common they end up being. Favourite sports or teams are also some of the first options a hacker might attempt. The personal details about you and your family are likely to be quite easy to find online and make you vulnerable.

While there is no guarantee that any methods will keep you safe. You would be better off with very different and unlikely long passwords. Consider phrases which are memorable, they are long and if you add a random special character somewhere in the phrase you should dramatically reduce the odds of being compromised.

Most attacks on passwords are run by computers that can test millions of options options very quickly. Thankfully many services will block access if many attempts are made. This is why having multiple passwords is a good idea. If only one service allows for multiple attempts to detect your password, that password can then be used to get access to other services that would otherwise not allow it.

Email accounts are favourites and you can typically ask a website to reset your password by sending you an email. If someone has access to your email they could gain access to most of the other services you use.

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