Every day we log into our secure accounts that hold our bank details, our entertainment subscriptions, our social media accounts and much more. We now have so many accounts and subsequently, a lot of passwords to remember. With all these passwords to remember, people are often tempted to choose a password that is easy to remember and repeat it, using it across multiple accounts.
This is, of course, extremely dangerous and puts your personal and private information at risk. Hackers know how to think like the average users, and when trying to get into accounts will first try the obvious passwords that many people still use. Easy to remember, simple passwords can be easily hacked, and if you have one of these, it may only be a matter of time until your accounts are compromised.
Let us take a look at the top 10 types of passwords everyone should avoid:
- Number passwords: Some numeric passwords are easy to remember and have become a popular choice for many users. You should avoid the following numerical sequence passwords: 123456, 123456789, 1234567890, 1234, 1234567.
It is also important to avoid numerical passwords with repeated digits, such as the following: 000000, 1212, 7777, 1001, 2000, 1010, 2020. Do not use these combinations, or any repeated number combinations with few numbers as your password or PIN number, as is common.
- Keyword sequences: This is similar to the above, do not use passwords that can be seen easily on the keyboard. For example qwerty, (and its variations such as all caps, all lower case etc), qwertyuiop, zxcvbnm, asdfghjkl
- Common alphanumeric passwords: This group incorporates passwords that mix numbers and letters, which is often seen as a more secure password. While you can make your password more secure by using a mix of numbers and letters, it is still important not to use the common and overused passwords in this area. This is increasingly becoming a problem since many accounts now require passwords to have letters and numbers, leading many people to fall into the trap of using the same alphanumeric passwords that are easy to remember.Avoid these passwords: abcd123, abc123, trustno1 (this was the twelfth most common password in 2012), welcome1, password1.
- Password: Yes this one may seem shocking, and obviously unsafe, however, it is an extremely common password. If “password” is your password, we recommend you change it immediately, and don’t think you can skirt around this by using a variation such as all caps, lower case or p@ssword, since these are incredibly common also and known to hackers.
- Names of sports or common hobbies: When hackers are trying to get into your accounts, they will often try passwords that are related to sports. This becomes even more dangerous if they have any information about you, for example, if they look you up on social media and see that you love attending Manchester United football games, they will try “manchesterunited” as the password, and all the common variations, such as adding a 1 and so on.It is best to avoid all passwords that relate to sports or hobbies since these are common. Avoid passwords like football, hockey, formula1 as well as celebrity or sports personality names.
- Nature words and Animal names: This is similar to the sports example above, many people will pick their favorite animals as their password. The problem is, most people’s favorite animals tend to be the same for example, lion, tiger, dolphin, monkey, so these are to be avoided.Similarly, nature words such as sunshine, winter, lake, trees or place names.
- Pet names or Names of children: Do not use the names of people or animals in your life. These will be easy for a hacker to figure out, even from social media. If you have a pet called Pebbles, a hacker will try it. The same goes for children.
- Words related to passwords and logging in: All words related to the login screen should be avoided. People are often stumped to think of a password so will go with what they are looking at and pick login, letmein, enter, admin, access, pass and of course password. Avoid these.
- Obscene words: It is surprisingly common for people to choose passwords relating to sex or profanity. The psychology behind this is that people consider these words taboo and therefore unlikely to be thought of. That is not the case, avoid passwords that are swear words or words related to sex. “Pussy” is the 8th most common password.
- Other common passwords: superman, master, shadow, jennifer, mustang, michael, 696969, dragon, harley, fuckyou, hunter, buster