The Worst Passwords of 2020
A list of the top 200 worst passwords of 2020 was recently released. While there were no major surprises on the list, it’s a good reminder of what terrible passwords look like and a great time to share better options for passwords. As you can see below, and may have already known, sequential numbers are a favorite of millions of users. But did you know that those passwords have been used tens of millions of times? Or that most can be cracked in less than a second using a password cracking tool? If you’re curious about #10, ‘senha’ is Portuguese for password.
Why Use Them?
Since these passwords are doing very little to secure accounts, why do people continue to use them? The reason is likely two-fold. First, many people don’t have an understanding of password attacks – how they work or their frequency and success. Scammers will use lists like these, or even dictionary words, and try them on various accounts against multiple usernames. With so many people using the same simple passwords, there is a good chance they may get lucky and gain access through trial and error.
People also use simple passwords because they are easy to remember. We’ve all experienced the frustration of going through reset steps because we’ve forgotten a password. It may involve waiting for an email or remembering the answers to password recovery questions. Using a simple password over and over again helps us avoid this drawn out process—although it may lead to an even more painful process if our accounts are hacked!
Four Steps to a Strong Password
We created the Four Step method to make creating and remembering strong passwords easy.
Step 1. Choose a phrase: is 2020 over yet
Step 2. Capitalize one word: is 2020 over YET
Step 3. Replace spaces with a number: is120201over1YET
Step 4. Add a special character to the front and back: !is120201over1YET!
In four simple steps, you’ve got a strong and unique password that will be hard to forget! When it’s time to change your password, you can replace the number and/or the special character for a brand-new strong password.
Another great option for password protection is a password manager. Create one strong password for your password manager, and then let the app do the work of creating and storing all your other passwords.
Whichever method you choose, be sure your passwords do not make this top 200 hundred list!