Do you use “123456” or “qwerty” as a password for any of your online accounts? If the answer is yes, you should change it immediately.
U.K. government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) conducted a study which revealed that there are countless people who use passwords that are extremely easy to guess. And that is putting their accounts at unimaginable risk.
If you didn’t know by now, choosing your name or that of a loved one (whether it’s a person, fictional character or football team) is a bad idea.
NSCS employed the services of Have I Been Pwned online service to find out which passwords have been breached the most. The list reveals that password “123456” has been used and breached a whopping 23.2 million times.
The 20 most used and breached passwords
- 123456 (23.2m)
- 123456789 (7.7m)
- qwerty (3.8m)
- password (3.6m)
- 1111111 (3.1m)
- 12345678 (2.9m)
- abc123 (2.8m)
- 1234567 (2.5m)
- password1 (2.4m)
- 12345 (2.3m)
- 1234567890 (2.2m)
- 123123 (2.2 m)
- 000000 (1.9m)
- Iloveyou (1.6m)
- 1234 (1.3m)
- 1q2w3e4r5t (1.2m)
- Qwertyuiop (1.1m)
- 123 (1.02m)
- Monkey (980, 209)
- Dragon (968,625)
Also topping the list of commonly-used passwords were the names Ashley, Michael and Daniel, the names of fictional characters Superman, Naruto and Tigger, and the names of Premier League football teams Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The onus is on you
We usually blame companies when our accounts have been accessed by unauthorised persons. But most of the time the blame is on us.
The report pointed out that “making good password choices is the single biggest control consumers have over their own personal security posture”.
It’s true. we generally have little or no control regarding the security options given to us by organisations, but we can choose to make the best of them. If you can choose a long and complex password, do that. If you can opt for using multi-factor authentication, do that. If you can’t remember all the different, complex passwords you use for your several accounts, just use a password manager like LastPass.
Tune in later on as I give you the features of a strong password.
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