Despite the prevalence of online hackers and the concerns of cybersecurity breaches, many continue to use simple and easy to guess passwords that have led to data breaches, according to a new report.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) first “cyber survey” determined the most commonly used passwords that were received in data breaches.
According to the report, the most commonly used passwords that have been hacked are:
- 123456 (23.2 million);
- 123456789 (7.7 million);
- qwerty (3.8 million);
- password (3.6 million);
- 111111 (3.1 million);
- password1, and;
Other commonly used passwords revealed in breaches included the names ashley (432,276) and michael (425,291); the musicians blink182 (285,706) and 50cent (191,153); and fictional characters such as superman (333,139), naruto (242,749), and tigger (237,290).
"Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided—nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favorite band," NCSC technical director Ian Levy said in a press release. "Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can't guess your password."
According to the report of those surveyed:
- Only 15 percent say they know a great deal about how to protect themselves from harmful activity;
- The most regular concern is money being stolen – with 42 percent feeling it likely to happen by 2021;
- 89 percent use the internet to make online purchases – with 39 percent on a weekly basis;
- One in three rely to some extent on friends and family for help on cybersecurity;
- Young people more likely to be privacy conscious and careful of what details they share online;
- 61 percent of internet users check social media daily, but 21 percent report they never look at social media;
- 70 percent always use PINs and passwords for smart phones and tablets;
- Less than half do not always use a strong, separate password for their main email account.
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