Editors' Choice

Is Your Computer Password Dragon?

Arin Spits / April 25, 2018

Is your computer password “dragon?” According to an annual list of the most common passwords, compiled by security firm SplashData every year since 2011, “dragon” has finished in the top twenty since the beginning of their research.

“Dragon” stood out on a list that also includes obvious entries like “123456, “letmein,” “iloveyou,” and “abc123.” (As a word of caution, if any of these are your password change them right away.) Researchers have always wondered why “dragon” shows up so high on the list, and it’s not just the popularity of Game of Thrones. “Dragon” has been used as a common password since before the show went on air. That said, dragons are in Game of Thrones for a reason: they’re a staple of fantasy games, books, and movies including Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and Skyrim. People create passwords based on things they enjoy, hence the popularity of passwords based on celebrities, like “Jennifer,” so dragons are a popular choice for many users. People seem to gravitate towards animals and mythical creatures.

Keep in mind the study might be skewed towards passwords that are easy to identify. Sites with tighter security and tougher password requirements–like using a combination of numbers, symbols, and letters–won’t necessarily appear in this list. That said, even with a decent margin of error this is a crazy number of people that use a fire-breathing monster to guard their data. If you’re interested in digging into the data, check out WIRED’s great breakdown of this story. And if you’re still using “dragon,” “123456,” or “monkey”…CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD.