Online security is more important than we realize, and one of the simplest and most efficient ways to protect ourselves is choosing a strong password. However, it appears that numerous users are at risk as they continue to use passwords that are easy to guess, even when it comes to sensitive accounts.
A study realized by NCSC (The National Cyber Security Centre) analyzed the passwords of breached accounts. The result was a stunning one. As it turns out, the most common password for those accounts was “123456”.
The survey analysed just the public databases of breached accounts. While more than 23 million passwords used the 123456 password, there were other basic choices such as qwerty, password and 1111111 in top five most popular passwords.
“Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band,” said Dr. Ian Levy, technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre.
The study also discovered that common names were often used for passwords. The most used ones were Ashley, Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie, in that order. Users also used Premier League football teams as easy-to-guess passwords. Liverpool were the most common choice followed by Chelsea. In terms of music, most users preferred to use Blink 182. NCSC advises users to use three common, easy-to-remember words in their passwords in order to make them harder to guess.
The NCSC also decided to ask users about their securityr4outine as well as their fears. The survey revealed that just 15% believe that they can protect themselves online, while 42% were expecting to become victims of online fraud.
“We typically haven’t done a very good job of that either as individuals or as the organisations asking us to register with them,” he said.
Nora Reynolds is a major in biology and a minor in Biological Basis of Behavior, writing about science in general. She also likes to try new gadgets and sports about the AI new era.