A Study Revealed The Most Hackable Passwords Of 2018

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A Study Revealed The Most Hackable Passwords Of 2018
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If you use any of these, change them ASAP!

According to a 2018 study, I’m one of the most hackable people on the internet.

Because I’m too lazy to write down passwords for my many, many accounts — social media, email, travel stuff, you name it — I’ve used the same password for just about everything for my entire life. Obviously, that’s not smart, because if someone were to hack into one of my accounts they’d essentially have access to all of them.

More recently, websites have started requesting more intricate passwords. As annoying as this is every time I need to add every special character under the sun only to forget what I added the next time I try to log in, it’s for the best as getting hacked would probably be more annoying.

According to a study carried out by Virginia Tech and online password manager Dashlane, I’m not alone. “It is difficult for humans to memorize unique passwords for the 150+ accounts the average person has,“ said head researcher Dr. Gang Wang. “Inevitably, people reuse or slightly modify them, which is a dangerous practice. This danger has been amplified by the massive data breaches which have given attackers more effective tools for guessing and hacking passwords.” Unfortunately, lazy passwords (like mine) are extremely hackable.


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In the study, Virginia Tech researchers analyzed 28.8 million users and their 61.5 million passwords in 107 services over eight years. Dashlane researchers then examined that data to find patterns that revealed a host of mistakes we’re likely all guilty of making, such as reusing passwords, using name brands, and “password walking.”

According to researchers, the worst passwords follow five main trends: password walking, champion league teams, brands, entertainment, and emotions.

Password Walking

Humans are lazy, full stop. And this is made apparent by our tendency to create super simple passwords at the risk of losing any and all security by literally just choosing letters and numbers that are right next to each other on the keyboard. The most popular passwords of this kind were:

  1. 1q2w3e4r
  2. 1qaz2wsx
  3. 1qazxsw2
  4. zaq12wsx
  5. !qaz2wsx
  6. 1qaz@wsx

Brands

The next ultimate lazy move? Making your password the same as the website you’re trying to log into. These were the most popular brand-related passwords:

  1. myspace
  2. mustang
  3. linkedin
  4. ferrari
  5. playboy
  6. mercedes
  7. cocacola
  8. snickers
  9. corvette
  10. Skittles

According to Dashlane, both LinkedIn and MySpace had major breaches in 2016, so if you use either of those platforms you should change your password if you haven’t already (and, um, don’t use anything mentioned in the study). Also, no matter how much you love these brands, you probably shouldn’t use them to keep your data safe.


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Entertainment

When deciding on a password, it’s only natural to go with something that’s not easy to forget, like your favorite musician, movie, game, etc. These were the most popular in this category:

  1. superman
  2. pokemon
  3. slipknot
  4. starwars
  5. metallica
  6. nirvana
  7. blink182
  8. spiderman
  9. greenday
  10. rockstar

Emotions

Humans aren’t just lazy — apparently, we’re very emotional, too. According to Dashlane, whether you’re a lover or a hater, “passionate language” makes for very popular (and hackable) passwords. In this category, the most popular passwords were:

  1. iloveyou
  2. f*ckyou
  3. a**hole
  4. f*ckoff
  5. iloveme
  6. trustno1
  7. beautiful
  8. ihateyou
  9. bullsh*t
  10. lovelove

Again, if you use any of the above passwords (or anything similar), you should change them right away to something more secure. And change them up, AKA don’t be like me and use the same password for everything.

Some more tips from Dashlane on keeping your accounts safe:

  • Use a unique password for every online account
  • Generate passwords that exceed the minimum of 8 characters
  • Create passwords with a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and special symbols
  • Avoid using passwords that contain common phrases, slang, places, or names
  • Use a password manager to help generate, store, and manage your passwords
  • Never use an unsecured Wi-Fi connection

Now excuse me while I spend the next few hours changing all of my passwords.

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Micki Spollen is a YourTango editor, writer, and traveler. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her travels on her website.

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