The 25 worst passwords of the year revealed

A firm working in Internet security, has just released a list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011. And they're really, really bad.

You've heard it a thousand times before: the key to Internet security is having a cast iron password -- a combination of letters, numbers and possibly symbols that isn't just some variation on your name. Hopefully you heed this advice and keep your online banking details and Facebook profile out of the hands of bad 'uns; what's clear is that millions of Internet users patently do not.

SplashData, a firm working in Internet security, has just released a list of the 25 worst passwords of 2011. And they're really, really bad.

The company compiled the list by browsing files of stolen passwords posted online by hackers, and as DailyFinance points out, even with a dizzying array of snooping technology in their corner, hackers still prefer to get at your information through these easy-to-guess passwords ('the low-hanging fruit').

Without further ado, here's the list. Read it and weep -- and then change your password to something other than 'password', for heaven's sake.

  1. password
  2. 123456
  3. 12345678
  4. qwerty
  5. abc123
  6. monkey [we're not sure why this one is so high up the list, but whatever]
  7. 1234567
  8. letmein
  9. trustno1 [hahahahaha]
  10. dragon
  11. baseball
  12. 111111
  13. iloveyou
  14. master
  15. sunshine
  16. ashley
  17. bailey
  18. passw0rd [oh, you're so clever, substituting a number for a letter]
  19. shadow
  20. 123123
  21. 654321
  22. superman [the real Superman would use a far better password, like 'f0rtre550f501itud3']
  23. qazwsx
  24. michael
  25. football

It's not hard to create a decent password: as we said above, a combination of letters, numbers and symbols is best (with a mix of upper and lower case letters if possible, too). Avoid names, including place names, and dates, as hackers are likely to try these first. It's also a good idea to use different passwords for different services, so if one is discovered the hacker doesn't have access to every single one of your online accounts. Oh, and changing your passwords every few months will help.

Had any issues with your passwords being stolen by light-fingered hackers? Let us know about it in the comments below (don't tell us your current password though… Jeeeeez).

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