It is only the 797th most popular girl’s name in the UK – yet a study shows it is used as a website login more often than any other forename
Age: First recorded use as a first name was in the 16th century. Before that, it was a surname; before that, a location (“ash leigh”).
I don’t know, I think it has a certain quiet strength. But it’s weak for a password – only six characters, no numbers, no symbols.
Is “ashley” a common password? It certainly is. It was 56th in a list of hacked passwords released last week by the National Cyber Security Centre.
What was number one? “123456”, of course. But “ashley” – used for 432,276 accounts – was the highest-ranking first name on the list.
Funny. I had no idea that name was so popular. It isn’t. It ranked 797th in the list of names given to baby girls in the UK in 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics.
What about the US? It came in at 122. There were more baby girls named Reagan in 2017.
So why are so many people using “ashley” as a password? As the compromised passwords were obtained from global breaches, it could be that they were simply lazy in setting up their account with the infidelity site Ashley Madison, which was hacked in 2015.
You would think you would opt for at least a couple of symbols for that one. Well, quite. But there could be other reasons for the prominence of “ashley”.
Like what? It may not be a popular name now, but it was back in the late 80s, so there are a lot of living Ashleys.
Yes, but there must be way more – say – Michaels out there. “michael” was 59th on the hacked password list, two behind “ashley”.
Maybe people called Ashley are just too stupid to come up with a safe, secure password like the rest of us. Let me guess – is your password your cat’s name with an asterisk after it?
No comment. Could it be because Ashley can also be a boy’s name? Well, it was exclusively a male name before the 20th century – but it doesn’t even make the top 1,000 in the US list for baby boys.
I don’t understand this. Perhaps Ashley is the most common uncommon name.
What does that even mean? Think of it this way – if you were called Olivia or Muhammad, you would know your name was a useless password. But if you were called Valerian or Parlophone, you might think you could get away with it.
We may never know the answer. You’re right. “homelesspa” is ranked 28th on the hacked password list, and nobody knows what that means (it probably originated with a bot generating fake Myspace accounts in bulk).
Do say: “My parents are very security conscious, which is why they named me Sc1ss0rsD0ncasterH0rse.”
Don’t say: “Have you met my sister, Password?”