The 100 worst passwords of 2018 revealed

'123456' and 'password' are still top of the list, but new entries like 'donald' suggest we're still not cyber secure

list of poor passwords on notepad

The weakest link in cybersecurity is still humans, it would seem, as the annual list of 100 worst passwords has highlighted just how complacent some of us are.

Compiled by software company SplashData, the list is based on 5 million leaked passwords from various data sources around the internet. Predictably, the worst offender for the fifth year running, appearing the most on leaked datasets, was '123456'.

Unfortunately, 'password' came in 2nd, with variations of it like 'pasw0rd' and 'password1' all making the top 30.

From 100 to one there are different variations and expansions of the number one password, such as '123123', '654321', '123456789', and other simple number strings that follow familiar patterns. There's also a running theme throughout that suggests a rather lazy approach to cybersecurity, with many passwords consisting of just one digit used repeatedly, like '111111' and the rather devilish '666666'.

'Football' is still one of the most commonly used passwords on the internet, coming in at 16

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

A new entry for the year was 'donald', which has become so popular that it's the 23rd most frequently used password on the list. This was one of 11 new entries to make the top 25, all of which, like the rest of the list, fail to take into account basics. Users are regularly urged to use solid password should be unique, about eight to ten characters long and contain a mix of numbers and lower and upper case numbers.

As so many of these simple passwords are continuing to see use, Jake Moore, a cybersecurity expert at ESET, believes that websites could do more to help us.

"With over 925 million cyber-attacks in September 2018 alone, I think it's fair to say everyone needs to up their password game in 2019 and think more carefully about online security," he said.

"However, this needn't just be a dig at the account holders, websites need to ban simple and overused passwords. At the risk of upsetting convenience, being forced to use a complex password will help shed light on the subject and over time build confidence. Using a password manager is a great way to start and they will help out if you're ever stuck for thinking up a complex strong and unique password."

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now


internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019

Google confirms Android cameras can be hijacked to spy on you

20 Nov 2019

Most Popular

operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Data protection fines hit £100m during first 18 months of GDPR

20 Jan 2020