Success! Hardly Anyone Uses 'Password' as Their Password Anymore

password stock image

It's 2015, and some people still use embarrassingly obvious passwords such as “123456” and “password.” But at least people seem to be using those passwords less frequently than before.

That's the conclusion of SplashData, a maker of password management software that every year compiles a list of the top 25 most common passwords. While the list itself hasn't changed much over the last few years, the company notes that only 2.2 percent of passwords now come from that list.

“While still frightening, that's the lowest percentage of people using the most common passwords I have seen in recent studies,” security expert Mark Burnett said in SplashData's press release.

Why this matters: SplashData didn't speculate on why the use of bad passwords has declined, but we'd guess that people are becoming more aware of the need for strong passwords as they put more of their lives online. Security breaches have started to feel like an inevitability, which means it's all the more important to set strong passwords that won't fall prey to encryption cracking software.

Hello, “batman”

SplashData's list comes from leaked or stolen passwords that have been posted online by hackers, so while it's hardly definitive, it gives a sense of what practices to avoid. As the firm notes, favorite sports and common names (possibly from people name passwords after their children) become especially popular as you move down the list, and seemingly clever phrases like “trustno1” are more common than you might think.

As always, we'll direct you to our tips on creating a strong password, setting up two-factor authentication and choosing a password manager.

Here's the 2014 worst passwords list in full:

  1. 123456 (Unchanged from 2013)
  2. password (Unchanged)
  3. 12345 (Up 17)
  4. 12345678 (Down 1)
  5. qwerty (Down 1)
  6. 1234567890 (Unchanged)
  7. 1234 (Up 9)
  8. baseball (New)
  9. dragon (New)
  10. football (New)
  11. 1234567 (Down 4)
  12. monkey (Up 5)
  13. letmein (Up 1)
  14. abc123 (Down 9)
  15. 111111 (Down 8)
  16. mustang (New)
  17. access (New)
  18. shadow (Unchanged)
  19. master (New)
  20. michael (New)
  21. superman (New)
  22. 696969 (New)
  23. 123123 (Down 12)
  24. batman (New)
  25. trustno1 (Down 1)

This story, "Success! Hardly Anyone Uses 'Password' as Their Password Anymore" was originally published by PCWorld.

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