A new list of the worst passwords of 2014 has been released by SplashData, and unfortunately little has changed from previous years. The new list reveals that “123456” and “password” have topped the list once again, as they have ever since SplashData’s first list back in 2011.
The year did see a bit of novelty, however: “batman” and “696969” were new additions to the list, while, depressingly, “iloveyou” has fallen away, having been a contender in 2013. The company says people also tend to use simple number-based passwords, favorite sports, birthdays, and the names of loved ones – all big mistakes as they are easily guessable and fall right into the hands of automated password-guessing software.
While the company recommends using more complex passwords – and it’s undoubtedly a good idea to use a complex password in place of a simple one – there are other options for digital security, namely biometrics. Such technology is increasingly being used to secure data, with mobile phone applications leading the way in the form of fingerprint-scanners, and other methods of authentication on the rise, from iris-scanning to behavioural biometrics. Moreover, a recent study indicated that young people tend to favor such methods over passwords, which suggests their popularity will only increase in the near future, and passwords may be phased out of relevance.