If you think you're outsmarting potential hackers by using a random noun such as "monkey" or "shadow" as your password or a name such as "bailey" or "ashley," think again. All four rank up there with old favorites such as "123456" or "qwerty" among the top 25 most commonly used passwords of 2011, according to security and search application vendor SplashData. Swapping out the "o" in "password" for a zero won't protect you from a hacker's password-cracking tools, either.
Left to their own devices, too many users still can't resist the allure of using dangerously simple passwords, such as strings of sequential numbers ("123456" or "654321"), series of letters that sit side by side on keyboards ("qwerty" and "qazwsx"), or passwords that demonstrate little to no imagination ("password" and "111111"). Other users evidently attempt to avoid overly common words or strings of numbers and letters in favor of proper names, types of animals, interests, or short sentences. Alas, many users think alike, so an abundance of them rely on passwords such as "michael," "monkey," "baseball," and "iloveyou," all of which reside on SplashData's top 25 list.
The complete list, which SplashData compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers, is as follows: