The Worst Passwords of 2011, And Wolfram Alpha's New App
Article by George Norman
On 22 Nov 2011
When you have choose a password to protect an online account for example, you must choose a properly strong one, one that is not easily guessable, one that contains letter, numbers, and characters. Anything, and I can’t stress this enough, anything is better than choosing “password” as your password.

Unfortunately, some people still don’t get that. “Password” as a password made it to the top of the list of the 25 Worst Passwords of 2011, a list compiled by SplashData, a leading developer of productivity and security applications. SplashData compiled the list from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers.

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So the worst password of 2011 is “password.” The second and third are “123456” and “12345678”. The easily guessable “qwerty” ranked in at number 4 and “abc123” at number five.

Here’s the complete list of the 25 Worst Passwords of the Year 2011:
  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

"Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords,” explained CEO Morgan Slain. “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," Slain said. "What you don't want is a password that is easily guessable. If you have a password that is short or common or a word in the dictionary, it's like leaving your door open for identity thieves."

What you have to take from this is that you cannot choose an easily guessable password. You must put in a bit of thought and choose a properly strong one. If the perspective of choosing a strong password seems daunting, you are going to like what comes next.

The team behind Wolfram Alpha, the computational knowledge engine developed by British-born physicist and Mathematica creator Stephen Wolfram, announced the released of the Wolfram Password Generator Reference App for iOS, an app that helps you create strong passwords and check the strength of existing passwords.

“The Wolfram Password Generator Reference App can generate secure passwords at the click of a button, create single or multiple passwords of any length, test password strength and compute a score based on detailed criteria to help identify weaknesses, and compute the time it would take to hack any password. The app can also apply specific rules—such as whether to allow or disallow lowercase letters, special characters, and more—when creating passwords,” explained the Wolfram Alpha Team.

You can learn more about the Wolfram Password Generator Reference App here.
The app is available for purchase in the App Store for the low price of 99 cents.



Tags: Security, Password, SplashData, Wolfram Alpha, Apple, iOS, App Store
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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