10 most popular passwords

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I had to change my email password today. It was nothing serious – the Monitor makes us pick a new password every few months.

But constantly updating my login has caused me to cut a few corners. At first I picked a password (let's say it was "pw"). I had to include a number, so it become: pw1. About 90 days later, I switched to: pw2. Then: pw3.

Today, it became: pw20.

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This silly and – I'll admit it – stupid way of revising my login got me wondering what other foolish ideas people get when forced to pick passwords. Searching online, I found PC Magazine's top 10 most common passwords. "If you recognize yours," they wrote, "you may as well hand over your wallet or purse to the first person you see on the street."

1. password
2. 123456
3. qwerty
4. abc123
5. letmein
6. monkey
7. myspace1
8. password1
9. link182
10. (your first name)

No. 9 refers to Blink 182, a pop rock band from several years ago. In fact, I wonder if PCMag meant to write "Blink182."

Even the most popular password choice represents only 0.22 percent of users, according to security expert Bruce Schneier. But since hackers automate most of their scams, two out of every 1000 people is great odds for them.

So, it's a good thing I stopped using "letmein" a long time ago – I thought I was being so clever at the time. Do you guys have any particularly foolish passwords to share? Add your confessions to the comments down below. Please only post old passwords; we don't want to get you in any trouble.

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