Wednesday, 21 January 2015

These are the most often used and least secure passwords

The ever-growing number of subscriptions and site registrations that the Internet has brought upon us in recent years has meant that a pile of usernames and passwords need to be remembered. Apparently, many users take the easy route and pick simple passwords, which has meant that the top 25 most common ones, that have been exposed, are chosen by as much as 2.2% of users.

Topping the list of most widespread passwords of 2014 is longtime favorite “123456″, followed closely by the most natural of all, “password”. “Batman” is one of this year’s newcomers entering the chart at 24th place, joined by “dragon” thanks in no small part to Khaleesi.

Such simple passwords are easy to break using brute-force methods, and more sites are enforcing stricter rules. Apart from length, special characters and numbers must be included, and different sites have different requirements, which likely means you won’t be able to use the same password everywhere. Which is another no-no, anyway.

However, as the often-cited comic above clearly demonstrates, length is actually the decisive factor when it comes to password protection for another one of those “Size does matter” cases. On the other hand, a large number of sites limit the maximum length to say 12 characters, going against this straightforward logic, and you obviously need to strike a compromise.

It’s not like any of this is news, having been reiterated countless times. Even so, writing this post has made me rethink my very own poor choices and I’m off to correct them.


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