I am so terrible at remembering passwords for all the various websites, I am always reading articles on suggestions for making a good password and remembering it.

It seems that there are some passwords that are very common. The most popular is Password1. There you have a capital letter and a number. Also 123456 and 12345678 are very common. Some people use qwerty.

I read where it takes about four seconds to ‘crack’ any of these passwords. You are supposed to use letters, numbers and symbols and to use different ones for this and that.

At 74, I have a very good memory, but I doubt that I could remember a seventeen digit password comprised of letters, numbers and symbols. This is what is recommended for great difficulty in hacking.

One solution is to use the first letter of each word in a phrase. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776. TDoIwwi1776. No, that is not my password. But you do have caps, and lower case and numbers. And most people could remember this one.

Another example is the phrase “My boyfriend looks exactly like Abraham Lincoln”  MblelAL. Add in his birthday year for some numbers and this would be hard to crack MblelAL1965. And you probably could remember it.

Or if you don’t have a boyfriend, make up a phrase about yourself. “I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1968.” IwbiLACi1968. (No, that is not mine either).

You are not supposed to use the same password for financial sites as for minor sites. Peter swears by an application that you can order to keep all this information under control. It is either called Password One or One Password. He keeps urging me to get it, but I can never remember the name of this item.

It keeps track of all your different sites, passwords, financial information and even fills things out for you. I have two email addresses and several passwords. Between the Apple ID, iTunes, Netflix and iCloud, it is amazing I can keep everything straight.

I remember the good old days, when ATM machines first came out and the pin number was a new thing in our lives. Most people couldn’t even remember a simple four digit number. My husband used 1234 for twenty years.

And the word hack referred to a writer who is paid to write low quality books or articles.

The 25 most common passwords of 2012

Do you think your password is secure? Try comparing it with the 25 most common passwords of 2012.

According password management company SplashData, the top three passwords of the year are “password,” “123456,” and “12345678.” The company’s list of the “25 worst passwords of the year” was compiled using data that hackers have posted online, which are said to be stolen passwords.

“Even though each year hacking tools get more sophisticated, thieves still tend to prefer easy targets,” SplashData chief executive officer Morgan Slain said in a press release. “Just a little bit more effort in choosing better passwords will go a long way toward making you safer online.”

How can consumer protect themselves? SplashData suggests these tips for making more secure passwords:

  • Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters. One way to create longer, more secure passwords that are easy to remember is to use short words with spaces or other characters separating them. For example, “eat cake at 8!” or “car_park_city?”
  • Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites. Especially risky is using the same password for entertainment sites that you do for online email, social networking, and financial services. Use different passwords for each new website or service you sign up for.
  • Having trouble remembering all those different passwords? Try using a password manager application that organizes and protects passwords and can automatically log you into websites. There are numerous applications available, but choose one with a strong track record of reliability and security like SplashID Safe, which has a 10 year history and over 1 million users. SplashID Safe has versions available for Windows and Mac as well as smartphones and tablet devices.

Here are the 25 most common passwords of 2012, along with the change in rank from last 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)