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Study reveals 25 WORST passwords of 2011

Situations like the current Facebook hack/spam attacks are increasingly concerning to us web-users and it has helped emphasise the importance of a strong password for protecting our web presences and valuable information from intrusion.

So with this in mind, there comes no better time for researchers at SplashData to release their annual list of the 25 most push-over passwords in the past year. Many web-users adhere to a bad habit of using the same password for all online accounts. This can include Xbox LIVE accounts, Twitter or Gmail and some of those passwords highlighted in the report are purely laughable, with far too many users who seem far too willing to allow online accounts to be easily accessed and maliciously tampered with.

The list of predictably naive passwords, presented in order of common usage, include the lol-able “123456” and even the word “Password” – which itself tops the list,  offering easy prey to an ever-growing legion of online hackers. Others sloppy encryptions making the list are X-Files throwback “trustno1”, “football” and “monkey”.

SplashData urges personal internet users and businesses that if they are using any of the listed passwords for protecting their privacy online they should change them without hesitation to protect vital information including bank account details and personal data:

“Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords,” Slain says. “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.”

Are you at risk of your online accounts being hacked? If your password is in the list below they may well be:

1. password

2. 123456

3.12345678

4. qwerty

5. abc123

6. monkey

7. 1234567

8. letmein

9. trustno1

10. dragon

11. baseball

12. 111111

13. iloveyou

14. master

15. sunshine

16. ashley

17. bailey

18. passw0rd

19. shadow

20. 123123

21. 654321

22. superman

23. qazwsx

24. michael

25. football

Important things to remember when creating a password to keep your accounts airtight is to use choose something uniquely personal including at least 8 characters and not using the same password for multiple accounts – or if you must mix it up by adding a few unique numbers.

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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