A near miss can often be a wake up call to make some simple changes that will protect our online logins. But don’t risk it, make those changes now.
Research from the cyber security industry shows that even with lots of campaigns and an increased awareness of the dangers it can be hard to ‘teach old dogs new tricks, and that old habits are definitely hard to change.
The findings reveal that many many people still use weak passwords to protect their accounts. The top 20 passwords most commonly used passwords are listed below, and if you are using any of these then we urge you to make some changes.
In 2022, “password” overtook “123456” as the most used password in the United Kingdom, and “123456” which was the 2021 winner was also holding its own retaining second spot. If you think that these are too good to be true have a look at the full list below.
The 20 most common passwords in the United Kingdom
In addition to these common passwords using names of people, places or teams is also still very popular, and it’s not just the names of people you know but sports related personalities as passwords are super common too. In the UK, Charlie, Thomas, Jasper, George, and Jessica were top names used as passwords in 2022. Football team names or variations of them are also commonly used passwords “liverpool” is the fourth most common password in the UK, “arsenal” ranks sixth, and “chelsea” is 11th.
What this means is that the list of guesses that a hacker needs to try in order to access an account using a common password is quite small, and would take just fractions of a second for computers to try.
So, how can we change our habits to create more secure passwords?
1. Keep track of all the online accounts that you use. It is recommend that you delete unused accounts regularly, and keep track of those that are active. This way, you can improve your password management and security.
2. Make long, unique passwords, and never reuse them. Complicated combinations of numbers, uppercase, lowercase letters, and symbols make the most robust passwords. Reusing them, which we are all tempted to do, is never a wise option — if one account gets hacked, other accounts are at risk. Perhaps use some key phrases as a root and then add variations to make them unique to the situation they are used for.
3. Use a password manager. This is making use of a technology solution, software that fully encrypts the passwords stored in a vault and allows secure sharing. Many cybersecurity incidents happen because of simple human mistakes — people leave their passwords openly accessible for others, written on sticky notes, or scraps of paper, or they store them in Excel or other unencrypted applications.
We need take control of our own data security, and even though businesses and internet companies usually have their own security measures to protect our accounts every user still needs to be careful with the passwords that they choose.