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2011's Top 25 Worst Passwords of the Year

It may come as no surprise that "password" came top in the 2011's worst passwords league table as published by SplashData - a leading provider of password software. But those who switch the "o" to a zero to make it "passw0rd" didn't fare much better at 18th in the table.

There have been many well publicised security breaches in recent years and in many cases the hackers have published the stolen data on line. Splash data have analysed this information to compile its league table. Hackers can easily break into many accounts just by repeatedly trying common passwords. Many people continue to ignore advice to use secure, strong passwords and continue to use weak, easy-to-guess ones, placing themselves at risk from fraud and identity theft. Weak passwords could include simple numerical choices like "12345"or simple letter and number combinations such as "abc123". Other weak password choices include patterns based on the keyboard such as "qwerty" or popular names such as "michael" or "bailey". A few of the most common cracked passwords such as "monkey", "dragon" or "sunshine" were more of a surprise.

So, do you use any of the following easy to crack passwords?

1. password 6. monkey 11. baseball 16. ashley 21. 654321
2. 123456 7. 1234567 12. 111111 17. bailey 22. superman
3. 12345678 8. letmein 13. iloveyou 18. passw0rd 23. qazwsx
4. qwerty 9. trustno1 14. master 19. shadow 24. michael
5. abc123 10. dragon 15. sunshine 20. 123123 25. football

SplashData suggests making passwords more secure with these tips:

Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters. One way to create longer, more secure passwords that are easy to remember is to use short words with spaces or other characters separating them. For example, "eat cake at 8!" or "car_park_city?" Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites. Especially risky is using the same password for entertainment sites that you do for online email, social networking, and financial services. Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for. Having trouble remembering all those different passwords? Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites.

Transform Accounting recommend the use of a company with a strong track record of reliability and security like SplashID Safe, which has a 10 year history and over 1 million users. SplashID Safe has versions available for Windows and Mac as well as smartphones and tablet devices.

It's easy to start making your passwords better - Start now; make it a resolution to keep it up and your whole life online will safer and more secure. Transform Accounting are able to offer support and advice on all aspects of financial systems.