Donald, Iloveyou, Princess, Football, 1234567, meet 2018's worst and unimaginative passwords

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2018 19:00 hrs
Computer (Image Courtesy: The Conversation)

Donald, Iloveyou, Princess, Football, and easy to guess keywords for hackers have found their way to a ranking of the worst passwords for 2018.

Call it sheer laziness or a lack of imagination, Software firm SplashData that released the list on Thursday found the word 'password' as the worst password.

Other worst passwords include "123456", and even '!@#$%^&*? (the special characters that correspond to 12345670). The garbled text is placed at 20th rank while Donald is ranked at 23rd.

SplashData analyzed more than 5 million passwords that were leaked on the internet, and just like the seven previous years the company has reviewed the data, people continue to set predictable, easy-to-guess passwords that rely on strings of letters and numbers that are close to each other on computer keyboards, according to a news release.

This year, the popularity of "football" (16th) fell seven spots from last year's list, "princess" (11th) returned after taking a hiatus, and "iloveyou" remained unchanged, rounding out the top 10 worst passwords.

The company estimates that nearly 10% of people online have used at least one of the worst 25 passwords on the list.

"Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations," SplashData chief executive Morgan Slain was quoted as saying.

People who use these passwords put themselves "at substantial risk of being hacked and having their identities stolen," the company said.

SplashData said it puts out its annual list to encourage people to set stronger passwords, pointing to the recent hacks of Marriott and the National Republican Congressional Committee, to urge computer users to protect themselves.

The company recommends that people use passphrases made up of 12 mixed characters; set up different unique passwords for the various accounts that require a login; and take advantage of a password management tool.