Amazingly, people tend not to take password reliability very seriously, and though the very services where you use them might constantly admonish you to strengthen them with a mix of semi-random letters and numbers, still many passwords out there don’t go much beyond ‘1234’. Using data collected during the use of its own data-protection tool, today SplashData published a list of the 25 most-used passwords in 2014.

The list offers both the absolute volumes as well as changes in ranking for the passwords from the year before. It makes clear that the use of passwords based on key sequences like ‘1234’ or ‘qwerty’ hasn’t improved much over the past year (not to mention other classics like ‘letmein’ or ‘dragon’).

  • 1 – 123456 (No Change)
  • 2 – password (No Change)
  • 3 – 12345 (Up 17)
  • 4 – 12345678 (Down 1)
  • 5 – qwerty (Down 1)
  • 6 – 123456789 (No Change)
  • 7 – 1234 (Up 9)
  • 8 – baseball (New)
  • 9 – dragon (New)
  • 10 – football (New)
  • 11 – 1234567 (Down 4)
  • 12 – monkey (Up 5)
  • 13 – letmein (Up 1)
  • 14 – abc123 (Down 9)
  • 15 – 111111 (Down 8)
  • 16 – mustang (New)
  • 17 – access (New)
  • 18 – shadow (No Change)
  • 19 – master (New)
  • 20 – michael (New)
  • 21 – superman (New)
  • 22 – 696969 (New)
  • 23 – 123123 (Down 12)
  • 24 – batman (New)
  • 25 – trustno1 (Down 1)

Using passwords that are so simple and popular is demonstrably risky. The much-discussed theft of Adobe user passwords at the end of 2013 saw all these passwords circulating publicly. Almost two million users had used ‘123456’ as their password (some 1.2% of all registered users). In other words, every one in 100 users had picked the most predictable password you could possibly have.

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It’s always better to be safe than sorry with passwords, and thus it’s advisable to use a different one for each of the web services you use most often. If you want to ease this process you can always turn to tools like LastPass, which can unify all your passwords under a secure master PIN.

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