In today’s world of constantly evolving security challenges, securing digital assets has never been more crucial. The most effective means of safeguarding private information from would-be hackers is a strong password, and the best passwords are hard to guess but easy to remember.

There have been a growing number of high-profile hacks, including Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta’s computer this past summer, the attack on the popular social media/blogging site Tumblr that was uncovered in 2015, and even college campuses such as the University of Central Florida. Despite the number of reported attacks, an alarming number of people continue to use passwords that even novice hackers can easily crack.

Earlier this year, Forbes reported that around 10 percent of individuals use one of the twenty-five most common passwords, and 4 in 100 rely on the easily-guessed “123456” (Grauer, 2017). Keeper, a password management firm, analyzed passwords publicly released in data breaches from 2016. Their findings, as reported in the London Telegraph (McGoogan, 2017), are even more concerning.  After analyzing 10 million passwords, half adopted the twenty-five most common passwords, which are:

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. Qwerty
  4. 12345678
  5. 111111
  6. 1234567890
  7. 1234567
  8. Password
  9. 123123
  10. 987654321
  11. Qwertyuiop
  12. Myoob
  13. 123321
  14. 666666
  15. 18atcskd2w
  16. 777777
  17. 1q2w3e4r
  18. 654321
  19. 555555
  20. 3rjsl1a7qe
  21. Google
  22. 1q2w3e4r5t
  23. 123qwe
  24. Zxcvbnm
  25. 1q2w3e

A digital password vault, such as those marketed by LastPass, Keeper and others, is an elegant solution that allows end users to store their passwords securely. Such products also eliminate the temptation for employees to leave important passwords on lying around on sticky notes, just waiting to be discovered.

If your password is on the above list, however, your first move should be to change your password immediately.