Diwali offers attract online scams: How to stay protected while shopping?
Diwali offers attract online scams: How to stay protected while shopping?Reuters

Hacking has become a common act these days. Even tech giants like Twitter and Facebook have fallen victim to this illicit act.

To prevent users from becoming susceptible to such activities, they are often advised to use strong passwords to protect their accounts. Despite this, some people continue to use common passwords.

To build more awareness about this, SplashData released its list of 2014's "Worst Passwords" of the year.

This is the fourth time this report has been released, which is compiled from more than 3.3 million leaked passwords during the year. It was found that "123456" continues to bag top spot on the list as the most common password of users across platforms.

"Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are," said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData in a press release. "Any password using numbers alone should be avoided, especially sequences. As more websites require stronger passwords or combinations of letters and numbers, longer keyboard patterns are becoming common passwords, and they are still not secure."

Officials said that most people frequently used common and predictable passwords, which put their accounts at risk of being hacked. One trend observed was during Valentine's Day; "iloveyou" is the most common password used. Other names as passwords that made it to this year's list included "batman" and "696969".

The top 25 commonly used passwords in 2014 include:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. qwerty
  6. 123456789
  7. 1234
  8. baseball
  9. dragon
  10. football
  11. 1234567
  12. monkey
  13. letmein
  14. abc123
  15. 111111
  16. Mustang
  17. access
  18. shadow
  19. master
  20. michael
  21. superman
  22. 696969
  23. 123123
  24. batman
  25. trustno1

"The bad news from my research is that this year's most commonly used passwords are pretty consistent with prior years," said Burnett. "The good news is that it appears that more people are moving away from using these passwords. In 2014, the top 25 passwords represented about 2.2% of passwords exposed. While still frightening, that's the lowest percentage of people using the most common passwords I have seen in recent studies."

Tips for making your password more powerful

  • Use eight-character passwords with a mix of letters, numbers and special characters
  • Refrain from using the same username and password across multiple sites
  • If you are not confident about generating your own "complex" password, use a password manager
  • Don't use your birthday, especially just your birth year
  • Don't use a favorite sport as your password