How secure are your Internet passwords?

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How secure are your Internet passwords?

After falling prey to an online security breach, there's a good chance your boss may want to know what your company password was. If you reply "password", start looking for a new job.

It might sound ridiculous, but the above eight-letter word was the most common password used on the web this year, according to management application provider SplashData.

The company made the find after compiling files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers in 2011. 

Other passwords on the company's Top 25 common passwords list include "123456", the slightly more cerebral "12345678", "michael" (no prizes for guessing the password-owner's name) and the Jackson Five-esque "abc123" (it's as easy as 123... to crack, that is).

"Even though people are encouraged to select secure, strong passwords, many people continue to choose weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft," said SplashData CEO Morgan Slain. "If you have a password that is short or common or a word in the dictionary, it's like leaving your door open for identity thieves."

According to Slain, even thieves with sophisticated hacking tools prefer to go after easy targets. "Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords," he said.

To avoid security breeches, the company recommends using passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters, using different username/password combinations for each website and using a password manager app (a service that SplashData just happens to offer).

SplashData's Top 25 Most Common Passwords can be viewed in all their infamy below: 

  • password
  • 123456
  • 12345678
  • qwerty
  • abc123
  • monkey
  • 1234567
  • letmein
  • trustno1
  • dragon
  • baseball
  • 111111
  • iloveyou
  • master
  • sunshine
  • ashley
  • bailey
  • passw0rd
  • shadow
  • 123123
  • 654321
  • superman
  • qazwsx
  • michael
  • football
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