Most of us are working from home now because, you know, the pandemic, which means that just about everything is happening online.
And, if work is happening online, then you’re probably using Skype or Zoom or some other form of team networking and communication platform, all of which require a password.
Impenetrable passwords are more important than ever to keep yourself and your company safe, and one would think that the shift to online life would mean a more focused approach to setting those protections in place.
Sadly, this is not the case, and per a new report from password manager NordPass, via VICE, nothing much has changed from years past.
The report focuses on the 200 most common online passwords:
There were some newcomers to the list this year like ‘naruto’ and ‘yugioh,’ coming in at 112 and 142 respectively. Anime fandom aside, the list shows just how lacking passwords are for the current moment.
Coming in at number one is ‘123456,’ and it was used 2,543,285 times…come on, people.
The passwords were collated from a database that contains breached online information.
The database they evaluated contained 275,699,516 passwords, and only 44 percent of those were unique (i.e. showed up once on the entire list).
A great majority of combinations contained predictable sequences like ‘password,’ ‘12345678,’ ‘111111, and ‘12345.’ All of these passwords were in the top 10 most common and took less than a second to breach.
Not all of them were numeric specific, with ‘unknown’, ‘party’, and ‘BangBang123’ up there with the worst of them.
Another popular password theme is pop culture references like ‘OneDirection’, ‘Blink182’, and ‘Pokemon’. Fun, trending pop culture terms are one of the first sequences hackers will target when trying to crack a combination, so it’s best to avoid them.
Let’s check out the list of the top 25 most commonly used passwords in 2020 before we go into how to make better life choices.
If you’re wondering about ‘qwerty’, it’s the top six keys on the top left letter row of the keyboard.
The first step to security is:
If your password is on the list above, or similar to anything on the list above (I’m looking at you, Aarons of the world), change it immediately.
When changing it, here are a few ‘dos and don’ts’:
Do use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
Do make sure your user passwords are at least eight characters long. The more characters and symbols your passwords contain, the more difficult they are to guess.
Do change your passwords regularly.
Don’t use a derivative of your name, the name of a family member, or the name of a pet. In addition to names, do not use phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, or ID numbers.
Don’t write your passwords down, share them with anyone, or let anyone see you log into devices or websites.
Don’t use the same password across multiple websites.
And if the urge to make your password “password” strikes you, seek help.
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