I’ve been writing, OK moaning, almost annually about the stupidity of some people, feelings that are based on nothing more than their choice of passwords.
Every year, I hope things will get better. And every year they never seem to. More and more people are falling victim to Cyber Crime.
What happens is that major data centres are hacked and the hackers release details of the accounts they have acquired. Then a security company, such as NordPass in this instance, comes along and grabs all the data and simply finds which are the most popular, least popular and weakest passwords. Then they publish a “Top 20” of the most common passwords.
And the fact that things rarely change shows that a lot of people aren’t learning the lesson. There appears to be an assumption that simply picking a password that includes a per name, a birthday or something similar will be OK.
But, guess what, if you are being targeted by a hacker, they’ll already have that information, and they’ll use it to break in to your bank/savings accounts, go shopping online using your Amazon account (or a different shopping account) and have their ill gotten gains delivered elsewhere. Alternatively they’ll use a Pavement Pirate to steal the delivery from your doorstep.
According to the research, the passwords used for streaming platforms are often the weakest but if I can get in to your Amazon Prime Video I can also get in to your Amazon Shopping account and don’t fall in to the trap of using the same password for multiple accounts, or simply incrementing a password for different accounts. So, no more Password1, Password2 etc.
Just to recap, here’s how to create a really strong password
Rule 1. Make it longer than 12 Characters
Rule 2. Include numbers and symbols
Rule 3. Use a Password manager. they are everywhere these days and loads are free, such as the ones built in to your web browser
Rule 4. If you use a Password manager, let it create the really complex passwords for you
Rule 5. If you don’t use a Password Manager, think of 3 words and substitute some numbers for l3tt3r5
Rule 6. Don’t write your password down, anywhere
Rule 7. Don’t send user names and passwords together in an email. Send a user name by email and the password by SMS, for example
Believe it or not, 123456 was also the most popular password in 2021, 2020, 2019, and 2018.
And if you want to read the 2019 to 2022 internationally most used passwords lists you can read them on the NordPass website.
Please don’t allow yourself to become another statistic in Action Fraud’s Cyber Crime files, be smart and get strong passwords.
Here are the most common passwords in the UK
And, for the record, I have 1,175 unique, very strong (over 16 Characters, numbers and symbols) passwords securely stored in my Password Manager and if you want to check to see how secure your password is, NordPass provide a secure way to see how long it would take a hacker to crack a password of yours. Their tool will also let you know whether your passwords have been found in any Hacker databases.
And PLEASE, if this applies to to you – STOP USING PASSWORD or 123456
Have a great Christmas, a happy new year and stay Cyber Secure. I look forward to communicating with you in the new year. If you need any help, please, just ask. You can reach me by phone – 01793 238020 – email – email@example.com or just hunt me down on Social Media