If your computer blares "WEAK!" whenever you try to come up with a new password, your "secret" code may be an honoree on this year's "Worst Passwords" list. Using 3.3 million leaked passwords from mostly North American and Western European users, SplashData has released a list of its top offenders, and they're both hilarious and shame-inducing for those of us who keep tapping into them. The top two since the list began in 2011 remain the same, says the company: "123456" holds the No. 1 spot, followed by "password"; others in the top five are "12345," "12345678," and "qwerty." Entries in the top 25 include everything from the aforementioned number sequences (because no hacker would consider "1234567") to the paranoid and desperate ("trustno1," "shadow," "letmein") to the somewhat confusing ("dragon," "monkey"). Making their debut: "696969" and "batman."
In addition to not using simple number sequences, SplashData advises not to go with sports and sports teams, birthdays, or popular names like "michael" and "jennifer." Swear words, famous athletes, car brands, and names of movies are also popular, so probably best to stay away from them, too. NPR (which hopes that "batman12345" is still good to go) offers a slew of password-creation articles that may help you combat hackers, while online security expert Mark Burnett has one more handy tip if you don't mind devoting a larger-than-usual amount of time to thinking about passwords: "My strategy now is to take one day each month (I do the last Saturday of the month) and go through and change 5-10 passwords," he writes on his blog. (Even this master hacker had a terrible password.)