Even if continuous warnings were made by cybersecurity experts, a research by NordPass still shows that internet users are keener to create weak passwords to secure their online accounts. For many years, the most famous one was even “123456”.
To add to this, the new study shows that to be able to secure accounts, people get a lot of inspiration from current events. Some of these include passwords like, “corona”, “lockdown”, and other words or phrases that have happened in the past year were used quite a lot.
The password, “corona” has been created and used 101,777 times including combinations involving the word like “corona1” or “corona01” have been created 370,202 times.
Another famous password was “lockdown”, including its variations like “lockdown1” which was used 62,859 times.
Some passwords were also made attributing to recent political events. Some examples include “joebiden” used 181 times, “joebidenforpresident” used 33 times, “donaldtrump” used 1,363 times, and “bernie” used 89,096 times. Similarly, there were also passwords relating to the British couple like “megan” used 895,891 times and “harry” used 1,186,829 times.
Why is this an issue?
“The main issue with such passwords is that they are very easy to crack. In fact, a hacker can crack any dictionary word, as well as any name, almost instantly,” says Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass.
“People often don’t look far when creating their passwords. We have noticed that current events highly inspire password trends. We’ve also noticed that people often simply use their names, favorite sports teams, or the name of the service they’re registering for,” says Chad Hammond. “It’s important to remember that such passwords are highly unsecure and can be easily guessed by a malicious actor.”
In light of the celebration of World Password Day, NordPass advises everyone to take these three steps to properly secure online accounts:
- Update all your passwords and use unique, complicated ones to safeguard your accounts. Employ a password generator to make sure they are impossible to guess.
- Set up a password manager. It is a great tool for both generating and storing passwords. Advanced password managers like NordPass also have useful features such as Data Breach Scanner, which helps you find out whether any of your accounts have been compromised.
- Use 2FA if possible. Whether it’s an app, biometric data, or hardware security key, your accounts will be much safer when you add that extra layer of protection.
Methodology: The list of passwords was compiled in partnership with a third-party company specializing in data breach research.
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