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Please Tell Us Your Password Isn't 1-2-3-4

Try 1-2-3-4 and there's a fair chance you'll get in.
Kristian Dowling
/
Getty Images
Try 1-2-3-4 and there's a fair chance you'll get in.
From 'All Things Considered': PINs That Aren't So Secure

Be honest, now.

Is 1-2-3-4 the password to some of your supposedly secure accounts?

If so, as Nick Berry of the analysis firm Data Genetics told All Things Considered's Robert Siegel, you're definitely not alone. When it comes to bank cards, he says, "the single most common password is 1-2-3-4 and over 10 percent of all cards use that particular number."

Some of the other most common passwords are also stunningly easy to figure out: 2-2-2-2 or 8-8-8-8 or 2-5-8-0 (the four digits straight down the middle of a numeric keypad).

Things don't get much better with longer passwords, he says. Remember the song 867-5309? Well, it's very popular as a PIN.

Crooks, as you might imagine, know all this.

There's much more crunching of such numbers from Berry on Data Genetics' blog.

We've got two requests.

First, without giving away any of your own passwords, are there tips you can share in the comments thread about choosing good passwords.

And second, be honest. Have you ever been guilty of using 1-2-3-4 or something similarly simple to figure out (maybe p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d)?

Note: That's just a question, not a scientific survey. We'll leave it open until midnight Sunday.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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