IT Security Week: Is your password on the list of worst Internet Passwords for 2014?

Is your College password on the list of worst Internet Passwords for 2014?

You might recall during last year’s IT Security week we looked at the list of the Internet’s most commonly used and therefore ‘worst’ passwords. The list has been updated for 2014 As you can see below there has not been much of an improvement! Do you see any passwords similar to those you may be currently using for accounts which provide access to important information about you? These could include your College network or email account, or your iTunes, Amazon, PayPal, LinkedIn, or Facebook account?

If so it may be time to consider a change!

Rank Password Change from 2013
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 Unchanged
19 master New
20 Michael New

What makes these passwords so bad?

The passwords on this list demonstrate many of the common features which make a password weak and easy for an attacker to guess or crack:

  • They use dictionary words like dragon, football & monkey
  • They use common sequences or repeated characters like 111111 & 12345678
  • They use adjacent letters on the keyboard like qwerty

How can I create a secure password?

The key ideas to think about when creating a password are:

  • Length – Make your passwords long with 8 or more characters.
  • Complexity – Include letters, symbols, and numbers and a variety of upper and lower case characters.
  • Obscurity – Good passwords are randomised combinations of characters, don’t use dictionary words or words with personal connections to you or the service the password is for.

Test it online When you think you have come up with a secure password you can check it with an online password checker.

How can I manage all my passwords?

The best idea is to use separate passwords for all your important accounts which provide access to important information about you like your College account, iTunes or Facebook account. However remembering many different complex passwords is a challenge, one useful way to manage you passwords is to use an application like Keepass.

This is a small application which you can install on your computer and use to store your password information. The application is encrypted and password protected.  Obviously you should choose a really strong password to protect this application and remember to transfer and delete all information when you buy a new computer.

What if I forget my College Password?

Everyone forgets their password occasionally, you can save yourself a trip to the helpdesk by signing up today for the automated password reset services provided by IS Services below:

  • Password Manager

Password manager is a web-based application which allows staff and students to manage and reset their network login password. For a complete set of instructions on how to get started using Password Manager as a member of staff please see staff information, and as a student please see student information

  • TCD Password Recovery Service

Students can reset their email and network login password and have details sent to their mobile phone. Sign up today at by providing a mobile phone number and, optionally, an alternative email address.

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