The Passwords We Choose

January 13, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

In 2009 a hacker leaked a database of passwords. Researchers have been studying it since, and in a fascinating article about society’s relationship with passwords Ian Urbina wrote about the kinds of keys we choose:

  • Around 10% of passwords are a name followed by a year.
  • The word ‘password’ makes up 0.2% of all passwords.
  • The most common verb is “love” – it is 12 times as common as conjugations of the word “hate”.
  • The most popular adjectives are “sexy”, “hot”, and “pink”.
  • In passwords that begin with “I love” a man’s name is four times more likely to appear at the end than a woman’s.
  • The word “team” is surprisingly popular in passwords – but because versions of the Spanish “te amo” (I love you) are often used in passwords.
  • 14344 is also a popular password – the numbers represent the number of letters in each of the words of the phrase “I love you very much”.

The full article provides an in depth look about what passwords mean to us, the meaning that we imbue them with, and much more. It is well written and you should read it here.

Source: The New York Times