Dashlane today released the findings of a new analysis of the most common sports teams found in passwords. With football season kicking off both in America and across the pond, researchers focused on team names from the National Football League and the English Premier League.

The research was conducted in conjunction with data provided by Gang Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science at Virginia Tech. Wang provided Dashlane’s Analytics Team access to his database of 61.5 million anonymized passwords. The Analytics Team searched for password patterns across key words associated with team names and/or beloved mascots to establish the top team-related passwords in football.

The Philadelphia Eagles, winners of this year’s Super Bowl, took the top spot for the NFL, while the Dallas Cowboys came in second. And while Neymar predicts Manchester City will win the Premier League this year, the team mentioned most in passwords was Liverpool, followed by London stalwarts Chelsea and Arsenal.

Unfortunately for fans of these teams, there are no bragging rights to be had; poor password habits like using dictionary words in passwords mean they’re more likely to get hacked.

How NFL fans played their passwords, in order of popularity:

NFL Password Power Rankings

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Dallas Cowboys
  3. Oakland Raiders
  4. Miami Dolphins
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Chicago Bears
  7. New York Giants
  8. Los Angeles Rams
  9. New Orleans Saints
  10. Green Bay Packers
  11. New England Patriots
  12. Washington Redskins
  13. Minnesota Vikings
  14. Denver Broncos
  15. Detroit Lions
  16. Carolina Panthers
  17. New York Jets
  18. Arizona Cardinals
  19. Tennessee Titans
  20. Cleveland Browns
  21. Baltimore Ravens
  22. Indianapolis Colts
  23. Atlanta Falcons
  24. San Diego Chargers
  25. San Francisco 49ers
  26. Kansas City Chiefs
  27. Cincinnati Bengals
  28. Buffalo Bills
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  31. Seattle Seahawks
  32. Houston Texans

Premier League squads in order of password popularity:

English Premier League Password Power Rankings

  1. Liverpool
  2. Chelsea
  3. Arsenal
  4. Manchester United
  5. Southampton
  6. West Ham United
  7. Everton
  8. Newcastle United
  9. Tottenham Hotspur
  10. Watford
  11. F.C. Bournemouth
  12. Cardiff City
  13. Brighton & Hove Albion
  14. Leicester City
  15. Fulham
  16. Burnley
  17. Manchester City
  18. Wolverhampton
  19. Huddersfield Town
  20. Crystal Palace

“Coming up with a password can be a very personal and emotional choice, and the data clearly shows consumers like to use the teams they support as part of their password habits,” said Emmanuel Schalit, CEO of Dashlane. “As an avid soccer fan, I understand the urge to align your accounts with your favorite teams—but it’s a major security risk. Along with using names, schools, and additional personally identifiable information, favorite teams should be avoided.”

Best practices for password security

As a reminder, there are several things consumers can do to improve their password hygiene:

  • Use a unique password for every online account
  • Generate passwords that exceed the minimum of 8 characters
  • Create passwords with a mix of case-sensitive letters, numbers, and special symbols
  • Avoid using passwords that contain common phrases, slang, places, and names—including team names
  • Use a password manager to help generate, store, and manage your passwords
  • Only connect to an unsecured WiFi network using a VPN

Methodology

Virginia Tech researchers led by Wang collected a number of publicly available password datasets from the internet in January 2017. The datasets were obtained from various online forums and data archives. The resulting 107 datasets (61.5 million passwords) allow the researchers to analyze how users reuse and modify their passwords across different online services. The goal of this research is to provide a deeper understanding of how weak passwords are generated and use the insights to drive the design of better password-management tools. More details can be found at https://people.cs.vt.edu/gangwang/pass.pdf