A lot of words have already been said about the fact that people rarely think about making a complex password, and their imagination is limited only by the date of birth or a set of consecutive characters. At the same time, no matter how they teach us that even the password on the most useless site is still important from a security point of view, we do not accept these tips and get what we have. Billions of accounts with the password "123456" are constantly leaked to the network. And now experts have told what were the most popular passwords in 2021. Surely among them you will recognize one of your own. And do not think that it was stolen. It's just that rarely any of us is unique in this matter.
Passwords leak so often that you need to be as careful as possible with them.
Most common passwords
According to a new report from NordPass, the service that provides the password manager program, an alarming number of users still rely on extremely weak and light passwords.
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A study of the 200 most common passwords in 2021 covering 50 countries shows that “123456” remains the most popular password for the second year in a row. More than 103 million people use it to log in, even though these are the first numbers that will be entered in the selection. So, hacking will take about one and a half seconds.
Other frequently used passwords in the top ten are mostly numeric passwords such as "123456789", which are used by 46 million people. The only two that do not contain a numeric form are ”qwerty” and, of course, ”Password”. They are used by 22.3 million and 20.9 million users, respectively.
All these passwords are too popular and are cracked in less than 1 second.
When it comes to choosing other insecure passwords, a huge number of people have chosen to use their own names as their password of choice. In some countries, Ferrari and Porsche are the most popular car brands for weak passwords.
Which passwords are hard to crack
While the vast majority of the top 200 passwords can be cracked in a matter of seconds, there are some that take significantly longer to gain access to. ”1g2w3e4r” and ”gwerty123”, used by a million people, would be hacked in three hours. Interestingly, removing ”123” from ”gwerty” makes the task much easier, as it only takes five seconds to crack.
Rounding out the list of passwords that will take 1 to 3 hours to crack are ”michelle”, ”jennifer”, ”myspace1” and ”zag12wsx”.
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The NordPass research methodology involved working with independent researchers who specialize in investigating cybersecurity incidents. The most common password list was compiled by evaluating a 4TB database containing leaked data.
Russia has perhaps the largest number of password leaks. Moreover, our fellow citizens generally prefer simple digital options.
How to protect your account
So how do you add extra layers of security that will better protect your passwords? It goes without saying that no one should use "123456" to log into any account. You can not take other passwords from those mentioned in the report. Password managers have become commonplace and are a reliable tool, while two-factor authentication should also be considered as another security measure to be included.
Given the low security of accounts, it is not surprising that 81% of hacking violations are achieved through the use of weak or stolen passwords.
Meanwhile, some companies take care of their users themselves. For example, Apple has integrated new technology into its devices that effectively gets rid of passwords and offers a more secure process through public key cryptography.
Apple joins Microsoft and Google in visioning the future of passwordless authentication. Software giant Microsoft, for example, already sees more than 200 million users using passwordless login to their academic records.
Better no password than this
Why you need to use different passwords everywhere
Don't underestimate the importance of even the smallest passwords. It is they who often open access to important data. For example, you have set a password of medium complexity in your personal account of your Google or Apple account and consider yourself protected. Such companies will really protect your data. But then you put it on some entertainment site. The login is also the same. As a result, this bundle leaked, and when selecting a more important password, it will be used in the first place.
Therefore, it is worth at least dividing the sites into categories and not using the data that you have chosen for sites that are difficult to trust on the most important ones. Well, don't forget about the two-factor. Even if the password leaks, it is she who will protect herself from trouble.