Cyber security: The most commonly used passwords you should avoid to stay safe online – Evening Standard

The top password on the list was used by more than 4.9 million people and is all to easy to hack
Experts advise passwords should include upper and lower case, numbers and a few special symbols
ven in the year of our lord 2022, people are still using painfully obvious passwords that can leave them exposed to hackers and scams online. A study has revealed that the most common password this year is the word “password,” which is somehow still being entered by a whopping 4.93 million users.
In second place is “123456”, which was deployed by 1.52 million people, followed by “123456789” in third place with just over 413,000 users.
A total of 200 popular passwords are on the new list, which was compiled by independent cybersecurity boffs for NordPass, a password manager from the maker of the NordVPN virtual private network. They scoured three terabytes of data – the equivalent of 48 smartphones worth of information – from 30 countries as part of their research.
Other entries included “guest” at number four, followed by “qwerty” in fifth and more corresponding numbers scattered throughout the rest of the top 10, including “111111”.
The findings illustrate that we’ve either become shockingly lazingly in the art of password creation, or are just suffering from password fatigue due to all the codes we struggle to remember.
Here in the UK, “liverpool” and “arsenal” made it to fourth and sixth place, respectively, no doubt driven by passionate footy fans. While those with food on the brain opted for “chocolate” (number 18) and “cheese” (23), though combining the two may have made for a stronger but less palatable option.
The study showed how lax some people are about online security
A total of 332 people even chose the expletive “boll*cks,” possibly in a fit of rage after being forced to reset their password for the upteenth time.
Of course, there are ways to set and keep track of a stronger password. As NordPass notes, you should opt for one with at least 12 characters, with a variety of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols sprinkled in to make it watertight. In addition, you should avoid using the same password across multiple sites as that will just make it easier for hackers to break in to more of your accounts. Password managers can also help you keep store those codes so you don’t have to remember them.
You can view more tips in our guides on how to create strong personal and work passwords to keep your data secure.
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