Top 2012 Passwords: Don’t Get Caught With One of These

I. Have. So. Many. Of. Them.

Passwords, I mean. Everything I do on my computer requires a password. Time was, I used something simple, straightforward and easy to remember. Now that I’ve been hacked a couple of times, I’ve grown wary. I now create passwords that are complex and unlikely enough to use as launch codes for nuclear missiles. 

I haven’t been hacked since I started the complex password plan, but I have driven myself batty typing in all these arcane, unique and original strings of numbers, letters and symbols. I have, in the process, become a password-hater. It almost makes me want to quit the computer and go back to older ways. 


Assuming you haven’t been successfully hacked yet and are skating light over the password ice, you may also have fallen afoul of the other password extreme. You may be accidentally using one of the 25 most common passwords of 2012. If that’s you, rethink your plans. The only reason you haven’t been hacked is that for reasons unknown, nobody has zeroed you yet. Your day is coming, and believe me, the resulting mess will make password scrupulosity a virtue, even if it is a slightly obsessive one.

Here, for your computing consideration are the 25 most common passwords of 2012 along with a few tips on how to save yourself from a hack job; all found in an article in Plugged In:

Here’s the full list, along with how the popularity of the phrase has increased or decreased in the past year:

1. password (Unchanged)
2, 123456 (Unchanged)
3. 12345678 (Unchanged)
4. abc123 (Up 1)
5. qwerty (Down 1)
6. monkey (Unchanged)
7. letmein (Up 1)
8. dragon (Up 2)
9. 111111 (Up 3)
10. baseball (Up 1)
11. iloveyou (Up 2)
12. trustno1 (Down 3)
13. 1234567 (Down 6)
14. sunshine (Up 1)
15. master (Down 1)
16. 123123 (Up 4)
17. welcome (New)
18. shadow (Up 1)
19. ashley (Down 3)
20. football (Up 5)
21. jesus (New)
22. michael (Up 2)
23. ninja     (New)
24. mustang (New)
25. password1 (New)

Keep creating the same old passwords? Here’s a few tips:

- Use the first letter from each word in a phrase or line from a song. For example, “Hey, I just met you… And this is crazy… But here’s my number… So call me maybe” could be “hijmyaticbhmnscmm.” Of course, you’ll be stuck singing the damn thing in your head every time you log in.

- Combine two words, such as “hungrydog” or “choppywater.” For added security, separate those words with symbols or numbers, or swap numbers in place of certain letters. So instead of “hungrydog,” use”hungry$d0g.”

- If the site is case-sensitive, vary upper and lower case letters, as well as using numbers and symbols. (“ViDeOgAmE,” for example, is much more secure than “videogame.”) (Read more here.) 

  • Justine

    Thanks for your tips – Top 2012 Passwords!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      You’re welcome!

  • TJ Burdick

    Glad to see Jesus made the list. At least He’s popular in secret (well, not so secret anymore).

    • Rebecca Hamilton


  • http://evidentgrace Donna

    Another idea for a secure password is a word or pharase in a foreign language.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Might work … unless your hacker spoke that language. Cherokee might be good. Or Osage. :-)

  • Nick

    I do that long-string-of-letters-and-numbers trick too, but I have them saved to a word file with an inconspicuous name so that I can copy-paste them when I need to log in again. It’s pretty efficient and I’ve never (!) had an account stolen.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Me, I try to remember them. Then, when I forget them, I curse. When I curse, I have to go to confession.

      Maybe your way is better. :-)

  • Rev. Katherine Marple

    I, too, have been hacked stacked wacked and even sliced and diced. I’ve had three computers take the bullet that was meant for me. I prayed for my last one; it lasted another 3 months. Passwords…CRIPES.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I’ll bet you have. Part of this, though certainly not all, comes with taking a stand on controversial issues.

  • Phil Fox Rose

    27 years online using smart passwords and I’ve never been hacked. I have one question about this list though: Why is “monkey” #6?!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I dunno. I guess a lot of people think it makes a good password. Or maybe they were looking in the mirror when they thunk it up. :-)

  • Ted Seeber

    For the longest time, my passwords were names of God from my comparative religion studies. No, I only had 20, not 9 billion :-). But I could be sure, especially since many of the translations were my own spelling, that they were not in dictionaries.

    That ended when long password requirements came in- yhwh is not sufficient for an 8 character password requirement.

    Since then, I use names of family members combined with symbols and numbers, and usually more than one family member.

    Have yet to have a dictionary attack succeed against any of my accounts.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s an interesting idea Ted. I went totally random after my two back-to-back hacks. I mean random. It seems to stop hackers from getting in. The trouble is, it often stops me, as well.

  • Mr. V.

    I’ve never been hacked, and my passwords have always been words and combos of words I doubt would occur to anyone.

    NeonTuber$$@9 for example.
    woorwelf@100% was one I used for awhile.

    Also, I change my passwords every six months.