Everyone knows you should use a strong password, something like Di8y$xUh7#z, but plenty of people ignore that piece of life advice. Coming up with strong, easy-to-remember passwords is not difficult. Still, plenty of people insist on using stupid character sequences that a child could guess.
This brings us to the list of the most common passwords people use, which also happen to be the dumbest. Security application company SplashData compiles this annual list based on passwords that were leaked during the year — in 2014, that includes 3.3 million passwords from accounts belonging to North Americans and Western Europeans.
If any of your accounts use the passwords listed below, please try to up your game a little. It’s not that hard.
A few observations: All but two of the combinations are either all letters or all numbers, and there are no capital letters. Sequential numbers are probably the worst to use, because that demands so little effort of someone trying to break into your account.
Your favorite sport might be easy to guess, so don’t use it as a password, and definitely don’t use your name (I’m looking at you, Michaels of the world). You’re not the only ones, though. SplashData has jennifer, thomas, jordan, hunter, michelle, charlie, andrew and daniel in the top 50.
A special shoutout to young 20-somethings: Your birth year is a bad password. SplashData said 1989, 1990, 1991, and 1992 are in the top 100 of most commonly used passwords. You’re adults. You can do better. Speaking of adults, a few swear words make the top 100, as well.
Then there’s dragon. Honestly, I liked dragon. Dragon is a fun password. It’s just a really bad one.
Get creative when it comes to password security, especially with your email account, and use multi-factor authentication when you can. Losing control of your online accounts could lead an identity thief to your personal information which can be used to commit fraud. Not only is it annoying to discover you’re a fraud victim, it’s often very costly — financially and time-wise — and can damage your credit. Regularly changing your passwords, monitoring your financial accounts for unauthorized activity and reviewing your credit scores for sudden changes (which you can do for free every month on Credit.com) will help you spot identity theft and put an end to it before serious damage occurs.
More on Identity Theft:
- 3 Dumb Things You Can Do With Email
- How Can You Tell If Your Identity Has Been Stolen?
- How Credit Impacts Your Day-to-Day Life