The 25 Worst Passwords Of 2012: Is Yours On The List?

What's Next In Payments®
6:13 PM EDT October 31st, 2012

Internet passwords. You need them for just about any service you use online, and it’s easy to get lazy. Creating intricate passwords can lead to account lockouts, and making different phrases for different sites can seem to require superhuman memory.

But for some of the passwords in the list below, there is no excuse.

SplashData has released its 2012 list of the 25 worst passwords commonly used online, and the results are worth your attention. Some will make you laugh. Some will make you cry. Some will make you scratch your head. And unfortunately, some may prompt you to make changes to your account settings.

PYMNTS.com breaks the passwords into five divisions, and offers some expert analysis on the inherent flaws with these security failures.

The Obvious Division

1. password
5. qwerty
25. password1

Expert Analysis: Password No. 1 is just an all-around poor effort, and password No. 25 is worse. If it occurs to you to add a “1” at the end, it should occur to you to pick a better password. We give “qwerty” points for ease of use, but assuming most hackers have access to the same types of keyboards you do, this is unwise.

If your password is any of the above and your account is compromised, you have no right to complain. Next time, try something more difficult, such as “password2” or “wordpass.” It might slow hackers down by a minute or two.

The Kindergarten Division

2. 123456
3. 12345678
4. abc123
9. 111111
13. 1234567
16.123123

Expert Analysis: The lack of creativity is a little astonishing here – no one could at least count backwards? Many password systems require either six or eight-character minimums, which is likely why we see the addition of “78” in password No. 3. Password No. 4 gets credit for making us think of Michael Jackson, while password No. 9 is a little repetitive for our tastes.

Preschool and infantile hackers may have difficulty remembering the sequence of these passwords, but for those ages four and up, cracking these won’t be terribly difficult. At least use the Fibonacci sequence or something.

The Sentimental Division

11. iloveyou
14. sunshine
18. shadow
19. ashley
21. jesus
23. michael

Expert Analysis: You clearly don’t love yourself if No. 11 is your password. We can tell whom the optimists and pessimists are among password newbies thanks to Nos. 14 and 18. I’m not sure which Ashley or Michael these passwords refer to, but I can wager a guess as to which Jesus is implied here.

If only we could combine passwords from the Kindergarten Division and the Random Names/Feeling Division, then we might really have something. What hacker is about to guess “iloveyou111111” or “shadowabc123,” I ask? Something to ponder.

The Favorite Animals/Sports Division

6. monkey
8. dragon
10. baseball
20. football
24. mustang

Expert Analysis: “Monkey” and “dragon” are strong choices if you spice them up with numbers or characters, but as they stand here anyone familiar with Chinese Zodiac symbols has access to your account. Baseball earns a major victory over football here, proving it’s still America’s Sport. Either “mustang” is referring to the car, or equestrian enthusiasts are woefully unimaginative.

The passwords here aren’t quite as weak as the others, but it’s their simplicity that ultimately does them in. If someone hacks your account by entering one of these gems, you’re allowed five seconds of self-pity before changing your settings.

The Irony Division

7. letmein
12. trustno1
15. master
17. welcome
23. ninja

Expert Analysis: “Trustno1?” Alanis Morissette called, and she wants her password back. I’m assuming “master” is supposed to indicate that this person uses the same password for most accounts, which makes it even worse. “Welcome” is just boring, while “letmein” is amusing. I would never have pegged “ninja” as a possible choice for a list like this, but you won’t need years of secret training to break into accounts with that type of protection.

We should salute those with the above password for making us laugh: odds are, the criminals hacking into your account cracked a smile as well.

Read the complete list of the 25 worst passwords, plus some tips on how to up your password security, here.

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