The password hall of shame (and 10 tips for better password security)


CSO > Password elimination [conceptual password security lock in a trash bin]

Pop quiz: What has been the most popular — and therefore least secure — password every year since 2013? If you answered “password,” you’d be close. “Qwerty” is another contender for the dubious distinction, but the champion is the most basic, obvious password imaginable: “123456.”

Yes, tons of people still use “123456” as a password, according to NordPass’s 200 most common passwords of the year for 2020, which is based on analysis of passwords exposed by data breaches. The six-digit sequence has also ranked high on other lists over the years; SplashData, which has come up with lists using similar methodology, found “123456” in second place in 2011 and 2012; it then jumped up to number one where it stayed every year right through 2019.

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