The worst passwords to use

Hand on a computer mouse and keyboardYou're got locks on your doors and maybe even an alarm system guarding your home. But all that stands between criminals and your bank account information is the word "password."
Sound familiar? "Password," "123456" and, weirdly, "monkey" are among the 25 of worst passwords of 2011, according to SplashData, a private company that sells security services and password software. SplashData compiled its list from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online by hackers.

And despite all the fancy technology available to hackers, when it comes to breaking and entering, they'll still go for the low-hanging fruit, starting with easy passwords like these.

Password security tips

Well firstly, choose something that's not featured on the list below! Your password shouldn't be obvious like your partner's name, pet's name or street address. It might be tougher for you to remember but the objective is, after all, to make it difficult for hackers to guess. Make sure your password is at least eight characters or more, and use multiple types of characters - upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.
Also, change your passwords regularly. Not every week or every month, but it's worth changing your email password at least every six months. Think of all the data that's available about you with one simple hack? It's worth the effort.

And now perhaps the trickiest one - make sure you use a different password for every account. Worst case scenario, your email gets hacked. That's bad enough - now imagine the hackers getting access to your bank account, eBay and Amazon account all because they've got the same password? It's important to give yourself basic security online.

The 25 Worst Passwords of 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. passwOrd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

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