'Jesus' Makes List of Worst Passwords of 2012

It may be time for some Christians to change the password to their email accounts after it was announced Tuesday that the word "jesus" has made a list of the "25 Worst Passwords of the Year."

The annual list is compiled by SplashData, a Los Gatos, Calif.-based provider of smartphone productivity applications, and is meant to help individuals avoid the use of weak passwords that would do little to prevent hackers from accessing their personal accounts.

"At this time of year, people enjoy focusing on scary costumes, movies and decorations, but those who have been through it can tell you how terrifying it is to have your identity stolen because of a hacked password," said Morgan Slain, SplashData CEO, in a statement.

"We're hoping that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will start taking simple steps to protect themselves by using stronger passwords and using different passwords for different websites."

"Jesus" is just one of five weak passwords that are new to the list this year; the others are "welcome," "ninja," "mustang" and "password1." The top three worst passwords on the list have stayed the same since 2011, and they are "password," "123456" and "12345678,"respectively.

SplashData's list was created by examining files containing millions of stolen passwords that were posted online by Internet hackers.

In the spring of 2012, about 6.5 million hashed, or coded, passwords belonging to users of the professional networking site LinkedIn were posted to a website for hackers. Some of the passwords were decoded and published.

In July, hackers obtained a file containing the usernames and passwords of about 400,000 Yahoo! users, according to a report by TechCrunch.com. Other high-profile websites victimized by hackers within the last year include eHarmony and Last.fm.

SplashData advises Internet users to create stronger passwords by making sure they are at least eight characters long and are a good mix of different types of characters. The company also says a different password should be used for each website, and using password manager applications can help a person remember their password for each site.

"Even though each year hacking tools get more sophisticated, thieves still tend to prefer easy targets," said Slain. "Just a little bit more effort in choosing better passwords will go a long way toward making you safer online."

Here is the complete list of the worst passwords, along with their change in rank from the 2011 list:

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)