You know the difference between a good password and a bad one. Many of us do like the convenience of a simple, easy-to-remember password that requires no effort to recall and type when we connect to our WiFi network, buy from our favorite e-tailer or use for online bill pay. But many of us also appreciate an added layer of security so we don’t use an effortless password when sensitive data is on the line.
In a recent study conducted by SplashData, they looked at a sampling of over 3 million passwords (all of which were leaked during a data breach last year). They compiled a list of the most common passwords—and the results weren’t all that surprising. 123456 was the No. 1 password used last year, followed by the classic password.
While these passwords may have the IT and security crowds shaking their heads in dismay, it’s not all bad news. These popular passwords may offer next to no practical security, but according to the study, the 25 most common passwords only represent about 2% of the overall total. This means most people don’t use these passwords—or qwerty, or 111111, or iloveyou. The study found more variation among the most popular passwords versus the 2013 study. Is it a possible trend? Are people turning to more imaginative or secure passwords? Maybe, but only time will tell. Even if the study suggests most of us don’t rely on overly simple passwords, SplashData’s list serves as a reminder to use more secure passwords and to change them regularly.