If you go through the list of the easiest passwords people are still using you will be amazed that despite so much awareness (seemingly), by 2015, the most widely used password was 123456. This password still rules the roost in 2014 and perhaps the trend will not change even in 2016. The second place goes to “password”, yes, people use “password” for their password. For 2015, the third place goes to 12345678. Since it’s very easy to type “qwerty” people use even this word as password. Here is the list of passwords people have been using in 2015, according to 2 million leaked passwords compiled by SplashData that can easily fall into the easiest passwords category:
Presenting SplashData’s “Worst Passwords of 2015”:
|Rank||Password||Change from 2014|
As you can see in the 3rd column, the frequency with which these passwords are being used keeps on changing 2014 to 2015 and there are many new entries.
It’s not just numbers and convenient character strings from the keyboard. The names of the sports are also favourite among people creating easiest passwords. For example, people are using “football”, “baseball” and “basketball” as passwords.
But why do people use these simple passwords?
Most probably it is the lack of awareness that prompts people to use very easy to guess passwords. Many think, why would someone break into my email? Besides, many online accounts are created just for the heck of it and this is why people are not serious about formulating difficult passwords.
Another reason why people use these passwords is because many non-technical people have started using computers in the past 10 or so years. In the beginning days of computers, Internet and technology in general only tech savvy people, engineers, scientists and doctors needed to log into databases, accounting systems and high-tech software applications. This no longer remains the case. Even your neighbourhood barber these days may have a Facebook account. This barber is probably using Facebook from his mobile phone. He may have never used a computer. He may have never read a computer magazine. He doesn’t even know that out there, people want to hack into his Facebook account. For him, having to enter a username and password is probably just a nuisance and nothing else. He may have never heard of password security, privacy and data safety. Millions of people like him have access to the Internet for the first time from their mobile phones. People who don’t know anything about hacking wouldn’t bother with creating easy passwords are tough passwords.
Even educated people who haven’t grown up in the midst of online accounts aren’t very particular about creating strong passwords. Tons of literature is available on the Internet telling people how to maintain difficult passwords and why they need to be careful about their passwords especially creating easy-to-guess passwords leaves them vulnerable to identity theft, physical attacks and even financial losses. This is why it is very important for the services that require people to create passwords to specifically educate their users about the need for avoiding easy passwords and creating strong passwords.
Anyway, the list of easiest passwords people are still using also shows that people don’t take their online accounts very seriously and those who need to, do take their passwords seriously more or less.