The 10 Biggest Password Mistakes People Make
Ask computer techs what they make fun of the most after customers leave their shop and they'll say the questionably legal porn and nude selfies they found on your hard drive. But beyond the failed science experiment that is your body, they laugh the hardest at the ridiculously predictable passwords that are supposed to protect your system. Using any of the following terms is like locking your bank vault with masking tape and good intentions ...
(Note: Stats were calculated using samples from this study crossed with a base of 536.6 million English-speaking Internet users.)
"Princess" and "Dragon"
I'm going to hit you with some information that may be shocking: Computer geeks tend to enjoy medieval fantasies. I urge you to take a few minutes to recover from that mind-bending revelation, because what I'm about to tell you next could explode the nipples right the hell off of your body.
Looks like you're about to switch to solids sooner than expected, little man.
Combined, about 4.8 million people use "princess" and "dragon" as passwords, which I'm assuming is more than the number of toddler pajamas those things are printed on. For comparison, that's the entire population of Alabama (which, incidentally, is the only known habitat of actual dragons).
"Sex" (and Numerous Variations Thereof)
I understand that sometimes you're prompted to create a password and you just vomit out whatever happens to be on your mind at that second. And I get that sex is on most people's minds pretty much all the time. It's not like ALF or Wham! where you look back years later and drunkenly giggle, "Oh, man, remember sex? I wonder whatever happened to that?" Sex is everywhere, all the time.
And, thanks to Rule 34, ALF can be there, too.
The problem is that using a sexual term as a password puts you into a pretty large group. Just the first half-dozen variations alone are used by 3.2 million people. Think about it this way: If you stacked that many $1 bills on top of each other, you would have a stack of money $3.2 million high. If you have trouble picturing how big that is, ask an extremely rich stripper with a stacking fetish. She knows.
"Baseball" and "Football"
So you're a sports fan? That's great! All those teams, players, and numbers are an inexhaustible well of material for a password. Seriously, pick your favorite team or player and one of their records, stats, jersey numbers, number of assault charges ... then mash that shit together like a little kid putting potato chips on his sandwich, and there you go. It's secure and easy for you to remember.
Or you could be like the 5.7 million uncreative bastards who just use the generic words "football" and "baseball." That's like loving ice cream and also choosing "ice cream" as your favorite flavor. And yes, there are really that many people who do it. Want to know how big 5.7 million is? If you traveled that far in miles, this is what the Earth and moon would look like:
Three million. That's how many people were too lazy to come up with something that couldn't be guessed by any 8-year-old on their first attempt. Even sticking a "please" on the end would make it at least somewhat hard, just from the act of adding more letters. But nope. "LetMeIn." It's one step up from telling your computer to go fuck itself. And once technology gains sentience, these people will be locked out of their accounts out of sheer spite.
"Monkey" is by far the most popular animal-related password, with 2.9 million people using it as the gateway guard to their mounds of monkeyless kitten pictures. Maybe it's because monkeys are inherently hilarious and people could use the laugh? It's kind of depressing when you think about it: some poor, desperate office drone for whom thinking of monkeys as often as he can is the only thing keeping him from a mortal escape through a dive-shattered window.
Moments before he snapped and started flinging his poop at Doris from accounting.
These are basically the passive-aggressive "LetMeIn" people without that annoying "passive" part. They're the ones who actually tell their computer to go fuck itself, every single time they have to log in. Presumably it's because curse words are fun and easy to remember, and because a lot of humans secretly have the mindset of a 15-year-old. At least where passwords are concerned, we know that 10.2 million of them fit that bill ... and that's only counting the curse words in the top 50.
Unfortunately, by doing this, you're choosing the first words that are going to pop into someone's head as soon as they get pissed off that they can't figure out your password.
"This stupid fu- Shit."
"God" (and Related Terms)
Despite what frothing, screaming people on TV would have you believe, the majority of people are still at least somewhat religious, even if they're a little lazier about making it to Sunday services or Saturday "Wrestling for Jesus" matches -- I don't know how religion works. And apparently, about a million of those folks trust the Big Guy enough to protect their online accounts. Sadly, it appears that he has other stuff on his mind besides keeping your credit card numbers safe. Maybe that's his way of telling you to put a little more forethought into thy passwords before signing in to pound one off to Adventure Time fan erotica.
He can be here also.
Aww, isn't this sweet? I'm sure your computer would appreciate it if it weren't for the fact that it is a cold, precise machine and thus could never love a flawed human like you. Even if it could, I doubt "love" would be its prevailing emotion -- it would most likely hate you for all the disgusting shit you make it display.
"Seriously, sushi? After last night's video?"
"ILoveYou" is such a weird password on its own, but when you find out that 4.5 million people use it, it becomes downright creepy. Is it aimed at the computer itself? Is it the password version of a subtweet? Is it the nonsense ramblings of an untreated schizophrenic? It would actually put me at ease to know it's that last one, because it at least sounds like a justified, reasonable explanation.
Strings of Consecutive Numbers or Letters
From this point on, we've left behind those who mistakenly choose bad passwords, and now we enter the realm of people who just don't give a shit. This is Voyager leaving the solar system, looking back on everything we exist to maintain and silently giving it the finger.
Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it ... dipshits.
These are passwords such as "qwerty," "12345," "abc123," "abcdef," "696969" ... you know, basically the password to every hacked computer in existence. The one every assistant manager uses because "computers are stupid." Passwords so simple, your cat could accidentally log you in by stepping on your keyboard. And if you think it's only a small group that does it, think again. We're talking a minimum of 21 million people. That's more people than the entire state of New York.
Unless you have some sort of disability where you can only remember the last thing you read, there's no valid reason to use this as your password. It is the equivalent of leaving your password blank. It's one step above just leaving your computer sitting unattended on a busy city sidewalk. Except instead of just yours, there would be 26.5 million of them, each with its own revolving neon sign flashing the words "PLEASE SHIT INSIDE ME -- I HUNGER FOR YOUR SHIT."
Except if it's got Windows 8, in which case it's already full.
Look, I couldn't care less what happens to your information or what hackers do with it. All I'm asking is that you don't just open the door for them and invite them inside. At least make them work for it. Now go change your passwords before private pictures of your baby maker end up in some random porn ad.
For more fun word facts (such as the real origin of "fuck") and poop jokes and stuff, check out The Book of Word Records, available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble! For other writing from Asher Cantrell, check out Weird Shit Blog.