PC World’s Ian Paul reports on Splashdata’s survey of the 25 most common password fails[1]:

  1. Passwords123456 (Unchanged)
  2. password (Unchanged)
  3. 12345678 (Up 1)
  4. qwerty (Up 1)
  5. 12345 (Down 2)
  6. 123456789 (Unchanged)
  7. football (Up 3)
  8. 1234 (Down 1)
  9. 1234567 (Up 2)
  10. baseball (Down 2)
  11. welcome (New)
  12. 1234567890 (New)
  13. abc123 (Up 1)
  14. 111111 (Up 1)
  15. 1qaz2wsx (New)
  16. dragon (Down 7)
  17. master (Up 2)
  18. monkey (Down 6)
  19. letmein (Down 6)
  20. login (New)
  21. princess (New)
  22. qwertyuiop (New)
  23. solo (New)
  24. passw0rd (New)
  25. starwars (New)

Are any of these … yours? Almost every cyber security expert says that over 80% of all cyber breaches are the result of violating user credentials in short: “lost”, loaned, common or guessed passwords. They are an open-door to the badguys and girls that lurk in our Internet Wild West. While a simple look-through the list shows that adding a capitalized letter or special symbol would render them much more difficult to break, ANOTHER simple step would make all of them go-away – enforcing password discipline; that is:

  1. regularly change the password – every six months or at least annually.
  2. make them more challenging; eg a minimum length > 8 char.s, requiring a capital letter and either a number or symbol
  3. no repeated passwords … start fresh every time[2].

That’s it! Well … maybe not. The only realistic way to manage password discipline is through software. So, if you manage IT or own a business with more than one user – get an app that will do it for you. Remember … there’s an app for that.

[1] http://www.csoonline.com/article/3023431/security/these-are-the-25-worst-passwords-of-2015.html?token=%23tk.CSONLE_nlt_cso_update_2016-02-01&idg_eid=7ce0f332ba6d33f7de8cd547607f4a8e&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign%202016-02-01&utm_term=cso_update#tk.CSO_nlt_security_awareness_weekly_2016-02-01

[2] The greatest counter-espionage success in history, the Venona Tapes where the USA broke the Soviet code system and revealed the Soviet Atomic Spy Network in 1945-46, occurred when the American OSS (precursor to the CIA & NSA) obtained a one-write coding sheet that a Russian spy in Finland reused– in effect reusing a password. You don’t want to be that famous!