We talk a lot about strong passwords. It’s kind of our job. But they’re really important if you want to protect your online accounts and keep your data safe.
So why are we hearing that ‘123456’ is still the most common password? Researchers found it used more than 100,000 times in a recent study.
‘Admin’ is another popular choice, found 17,000 times, followed by the highly creative ‘root’ and ‘guest’. Often these are pre-set default passwords which you’re supposed to change when you first login – but too many people don’t bother.
Names – personal names, celebrities, even football teams – are also common, as are profanities. One swearword cropped up 300,000 times in the study (we’ll let you guess which word it was).
But popular choices make for weak passwords. A brute force attack involves throwing thousands of passwords at a system. So if you’re using any of these examples, it wouldn’t take long for an attacker to gain access to your account.
A good solution is to use a password manager. This will create long, strong, random passwords that are impossible to guess. It also stores them securely and auto fills them, saving you time.
An even safer solution is Passkeys. These could take over from passwords entirely – Apple and Microsoft are already rolling them out across their apps and accounts. Passkeys consist of two ‘keys’: One on your device and one within the application. When they connect and recognize each other as the right fit, you gain access to your account… all without clicking a button.
The best part is that you never have to remember a password. It’s all done within your device and the application, so it’s unlikely that a cyber criminal will ever be able to get their hands on your log in credentials. And there are 123456 reasons why that’s a good thing.
Need help to find the right password manager? Get in touch.