Drawing close to last few days of 2012, there are many things or events that happened throughout the year that would be worth recapped. While some of them are Googable (my informal short for Google-able), some others may be a little pain in the neck to compile. For me, I would prefer the easier method this time.
Many of us are already aware that usernames and passwords are login credentials that always being used to separate users in a computer or web accounts. Usually username values must be unique, dedicated to the owner of that particular account but his password can be of anything that he prefers. While username is not a very difficult field to guess, a password can be the main key that locks his account from unauthorized access. For instance, an email account of firstname.lastname@example.org is highly likely to have someone as the username. Not a head-cracking problem here, isn't it? So, only the password that needs to be thought about in order to crack into his email account.
However, hackers found out that most internet users are still using the same old, simple, hackable passwords. This makes their jobs even easier. If I were to join the Hackerx United (don't Google, I simply created this), I would develop a program that runs a list of common passwords that users tend to set for their accounts and get a match. If getting your email intruded doesn't scare you enough, how about your more personal or banking websites? Okay, now I get your attention. Let's see whether or not your current passwords listed on the latest list of WORST passwords of 2012. Here I will only list down top 12 passwords which I picked from SplashData's 25 worst passwords. Why only 12? Because this year is 2012, next year it's going to be 13.
The top four passwords are very common and favorite simple text combinations to remember. #5 (qwerty) is also popular. Look at your keyboard if you have no idea what qwerty is. #6 (monkey) and #8 (dragon) are quite difficult to understand how these two animals became more popular password options compared to others in the animal kingdom. #10 (baseball) also brings up similar question as how it can be more preferred compared to other sports. The rest of the list speak for themselves.
So, does any of the passwords listed above match with any passwords of your internet accounts? You should think about changing them now if they do. Use stronger passwords with longer characters, preferably alphanumeric combinations or use different passwords for different accounts. I know the latter approach may be quite a problem since you would have to remember many passwords. No worries, a password manager program would help. I have briefly written about one of them earlier. Get rid of your lousy passwords or risk your account to be compromised.