The latest report about bad passwords from the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) of the UK lists the worst passwords – these tend to be the most hacked since they are easy to crack. The analysis covered the 100,000 most commonly re-occurring passwords accessed by hackers in global breaches recorded by Have I Been Pwned.
Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, 23.2 million of those hacked worldwide used the password ‘123456’, according to the NCSC’s global breach analysis. For years, the six-digit password has been donned the worst password of all, given its wide usage. The most common amongst all the breached passwords include the ridiculously simple ‘password’ or ‘1111111’.
Many use their first names (or their child’s or partner’s?), football teams, and musicians, as well as fictional characters (clearly, they’ve learned nothing about hiding their identities from their favorite superheroes).
Weak passwords can easily be guessed by bots trying to break into your account and can be easily cracked if exposed in a data breach. These days, hardly a week goes by without hearing about a data breach which expose personal data, including names, email addresses, passwords, government identities, dates of birth, credit card information, medical records, et al to shadowy hackers with an aim to use the information for identity theft, financial scams, and other sinister cyber/real world crimes across the globe.
You can take a look at our guide to choose a strong password that will put you on the right path making it tougher for even the most determined malicious hacker to break into your accounts. If you use a password manager like Enpass, you can generate and securely store your passwords, so you don’t have to remember each one.
This article is authored by Abhishek Baxi, a leading technology columnist. A Contributing Writer at Forbes, Abhishek writes a regular column for the Enpass community. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter (@baxiabhishek).