Password "123456" Used by 23.2 Million Users Worldwide


Cyber chiefs issued a red alert to the nation's web users to upgrade their online security after revealing millions of us use passwords that are as basic as "123456" or "password".

The U.K.'s NCSC published the data alongside its U.K. Cyber Survey, which showed that 42 per cent of Brits are expected to lose money to online fraud thanks to a lack of security knowledge.

But "123456" was the runaway victor, with 23.2 million accounts using the easy-to-crack code. Using data from Have I Been Pwned, it was possible to compile a list of the most commonly used passwords, and the top ten is home to plenty of familiar faces: 123456, 123456789, qwerty, password, 111111, 12345678, abc123, 1234567, password1, 12345.

"Liverpool" was the most common Premier League Football team used in a password, with "Blink182" the most common music act. Favourite names, sports teams and musicians also cropped up hundreds of thousands of times among the top hacked passwords.

When it comes to using passwords in this increasingly digital world, are people simply too lazy to use strong ones and consistently change them, or is it that generating a strong password is a very hard task? Technical Director Dr Ian Levy said: "Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided".

The study also surveyed 1,350 United Kingdom citizens, and found that only 15 per cent of respondents felt they knew a great deal about protecting themselves from harmful activity online, with 46 per cent of respondents agreeing that information about how to be secure online is 'confusing'.

Analysis carried out by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) found that huge numbers of people are still - despite continued advice - using weak, easy-to-guess passwords to secure their accounts. The advice from the centre is simple - using three random words as a password should keep your information safe.

"Making good password choices is the single biggest control consumers have over their own personal security posture", according to Hunt, who blames us as individuals, as well as the organizations asking us to register with them. More than 200,000 people use the word "secret", which is hilarious in itself.

Why not use an existing list of breached passwords?

Think of a phrase, not a word: The longer a password is, the harder it is to guess.

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