Home » Cars Ranked By Their Popularity As Passwords

Cars Ranked By Their Popularity As Passwords

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If you’re new around here, I’m sorry to tell you—the Internet is not a safe place. Roaming bands of online bandits are out to get you, and your choice of password is often all that’s holding them back. As it turns out, one’s choice of password can be a window to the inner self. It can reveal a cherished pet, a loved one’s birthday, or even the car that most captivates our heart and soul. The latter is what concerns us today, so I decided to find out—which cars make for the most popular passwords?

My analysis is based on a popular list of the 10,000 most popular passwords, which you can read yourself on Wikipedia if you so desire. It’s actually part of a much longer list of the 10 million most popular passwords, first published in 2015 by security researcher Mark Burnett. The list was compiled from illicit leaks of usernames and passwords from a wide variety of websites and services, and was created as a guide to help people pick stronger, better passwords. More recent lists exist, but seldom few include more than a couple hundred entries. Thus, we’ll root our study in the year that Dieselgate changed the world.

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Oh, and just a note for those not up with security topics—you shouldn’t use any of these obvious passwords. It can make it trivially easy for hackers to access your accounts should they be victim to a leak.

Right away, there’s a strong, clear dominance of one automotive icon above all others. It’s the Ford Mustang, an American hero clothed in the red, white, and blue. Now, few of us would argue against the idea that the Mustang is popular, but in password terms, it absolutely destroys all opposition. No other automaker or model gets close, in password terms. Coming in as the #23 most popular password, “mustang” ranks up there with other legends like “baseball”, “dragon”, and “qwertyuiop.” It even outperforms such thigh-slappers as “fuckyou” (#31), “starwars” (#59), and “computer” (#64).

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Indeed, another celebrated member of the Detroit dynasty comes in as the second most popular car password. “corvette” was the 102nd most popular choice, likely favored due to its easy memorability and the fact it satisfies any site that wants eight letters or more as a minimum length requirement. It’s indicative of a strong American tilt to the results, almost certainly due to the sources that were included in the analysis. “maverick” comes in at #138, but somehow, I suspect that most users didn’t pick this as a tribute to Ford’s obscure compact car built from 1970 to 1977 in North America, Brazil, and Venezuela. The name would only gain serious automotive relevance again when Ford announced its new compact pickup in 2022, long after this dataset was compiled.

We don’t have to go much farther down the list to find more car references though. We see “camaro” claiming third place at #140, rounding out the podium for American muscle cars. Sadly, Dodge doesn’t really rate; “charger” only ranks #1509, for example.

2012 Camaro Ss 042
Good old American muscle dominates the list.

Bougie cars start to show up at this point, tailing behind the best of America’s automotive output. The Prancing Horse leads the charge, with “ferrari” ranking #147. You could certainly argue for “falcon” at #145 or “morgan” at #143 if you were particularly British, but you wouldn’t convince this hackneyed Australian journalist that they had true merit as automotive references for most people. We then see “mercedes” at #153 and “porsche” at #179. Indeed, the latter could have scored higher had Porsche’s fans been less security conscious; the vote was split with “porsche1” and “porsche9” also very popular choices in the lower end of the top 10,000. Indeed, these brands outperformed such cultural heavyweights as “cocacola” (#243), “marlboro” (#249), and even the wizard who is never late (“gandalf”, #250). There’s a bevy of dirty words that all fall in this range too, and I’m smart enough not to jeopardize myself by printing them here.

At this stage, there are also a few other entries that deserve honorable mentions. Fans of a big American hog will appreciate “harley” at #45. The world’s premiere stock car racing series also stakes its popularity on the list, with “nascar” coming in at #161. “yamaha”, Japan’s manufacturer of fine motorcycles, pianos, and synthesizers, also stars early at #197.

You might have expected Toyota to do well, given it is regularly the best-selling automaker in the world. The passion for affordable, reliable vehicles runs deep, and it’s the first Japanese automaker on the list at #271. For the Brits, “jaguar” (#350) is the first on the list, but it’s a hollow victory of sorts; big cats are popular and “panther” got #260, so it’s hard to entirely credit the company with this one. “nissan” does well to come in at #424,  while the company’s ever-popular “skyline” scores at #886.

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Pontiac outperformed Holden, despite the former dying first.

Brands you’ve heard of pop up across the rest of the list. “saturn” gets a low entry at #494, and “mercury” at #727, but both are planets, which boosts their fanbase. Chevrolet is in at #651 as “chevy”, closely followed by “suzuki” (#724), “hummer” (#742), “honda” (#797), and “ford” (#806).

Stellantis brands aren’t so hot, though, with “dodge” (#1892) , “jeep” (#2388), and “chrysler” (#5703) all doing poorly. Indeed, they’re beaten by “lincoln” at #1077, and “pontiac” (#1101) despite the latter being dead for years. Hell, even Nissan’s front-wheel-drive sedan did better (“maxima”, #1183). The Australians are well down the list, with “holden” scoring a nonetheless respectable #1711, just ahead of Volkswagen’s family sedan (“passat”, #1802).

It’s interesting to note which models and brands perform better than others. Aspirational brands with strong passion behind them do best. Meanwhile, the very top performers are those models which owners tend to make a major part of their identity—hence the Mustang and Camaro doing so well. It’s a similar story for other passwords in the list, too. There are a lot more Metallica fans than Pantera fans in the world, but to the latter group, Pantera forms a much deeper part of who they are. That might help explain why James Hetfield’s band finished second to Dimebag Darrell’s; they came in at #557 and #556 respectively. Similar effects are likely at play behind the “firebird” (#1079) and “integra” (#1244) outperforming “vauxhall” (#8343) and “hyundai” (#9956), too.

Hyundai I30 N Reveal 02
Hyundai’s design and brand cache has come a long way since 2015; but is it more popular as a password? It’s an open question almost nobody is asking.

Overall, you might be getting strong Baby Boomer or Gen X feels from this list, and you would be right in that assumption. “vanhalen” and “seinfeld” are high up the list in the 1900s, while the Millennial set will appreciate “naruto” at #705″ and “cartman” at #523.

The cars reflect the biggest pop culture references of these generations. It would be interesting to do a similar survey on more recent password dumps and see how trends have changed over time. Maybe Gen Z are all logging in with “altima” and “fiat500”. However, our shifting culture and technology frustrate that effort. These days, even poorly-built websites tend to demand the insertion of numbers and symbols which makes simple passwords impossible to use anymore. More contemporary lists are typically shorter, too, with a few hundred entries at most—not enough to get a rich cross section of the automotive passwords commonly used in the wild.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this dive into the incredibly niche world of automotive passwordery. Feel free to share your own password in the comm – just kidding, we all know it’s “browndieselmiatawagon427.” Oh, and if one of your passwords was actually listed above? You, uh … you should really consider going with something more secure. Stay safe out there!

Image credits: Ford, Nissan, GM, Hyundai, Google screenshot

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Leonardo Bacigalupe
Leonardo Bacigalupe
2 months ago

My password for most sites is composed of the name of a famous nissan with number and a famous soviet tank that, funnily enough, I’ve learn to hate due to quite a few hours on war thunder

JTilla
JTilla
2 months ago

skylinet34?

Leonardo Bacigalupe
Leonardo Bacigalupe
2 months ago
Reply to  JTilla

Phew, that was a close call!

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
2 months ago

Y’all need to get with the program and use password managers. You’ll just need to remember one, then everything else can be generated by your password manager and as complicated as necessary.

Bitwarden is free, secure, and open source, with a generous free plan. Far and away the best option. It has an extension for every browser, and mobile and desktop apps for android/iOS/macos/windows/Linux (yep).

1password is good. Dashlane is a favorite of Apple users. Keeper is pretty good. Lastpass is trash.

Built-in browser password managers aren’t good enough because they’re not convenient when using apps outside the browser.

Install bitwarden on all your browsers and devices, protect it with a solid password (I.e. not “69tesla420”) and 2fa, and change all your passwords everywhere with bitwarden’s suggestions. Enable 2fa in everything, too.

Just do it. Don’t be like those people who invested in Nikola.

Last edited 2 months ago by Harvey Park
Ivan256
Ivan256
2 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Built-in browser password managers aren’t good enough because they’re not convenient when using apps outside the browser.

Unless you’re an Apple user. On Macs and iOS devices you can register the browser password manager (any browser that supports the standard, not just Safari) with the whole OS. The Firefox password manager is perfectly cromulent. Or the basic iCloud one if you have an all-Apple ecosystem.

Password managers do fuck-all for people who can’t afford their own device though. If you’re using the computer at the library or the COA or school or whatever you have to remember your passwords. Likewise if your primary device is owned and locked down by your employer.

Last edited 2 months ago by Ivan256
Space
Space
2 months ago

Was going to make a bz4x comment but was beaten to it.

Last edited 2 months ago by Space
Defenestrator
Defenestrator
2 months ago

Poor showing for “camero” at 7559. Would have expected it to be closer to “camaro”, honestly.

Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
2 months ago

One of my neighbors has “myneighborisadick” for his WI-FI name. I laughed and laughed, at first.

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
2 months ago

Mustang might be one of the rare cases that gets picked by both the Car Guy end of the spectrum *and* the Horse Girl end.

Drew
Drew
2 months ago
Reply to  LuzifersLicht

Car Guys are Horse Girls in most ways. It’s not a spectrum, it’s a circle.

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