An important password — or multiple passwords for different accounts — is one of the most basic, yet most important points of online security. If you use simple passwords then you run the risk of allowing hackers to break into your financial or personal accounts and steal your cash or your identity. Though not everybody chooses a secure password, which can be to their own detriment.
And there's research to show just how frequently some people choose to use basic, insecure passwords. Each year, cyber security firms post a breakdown of the year's worst and most insecure passwords. And for the fifth year in a row, the password at the top of the list of worst offenders is '123456', with 'password' taking second place on the list.
"Most users in North America or Western Europe"
According to the research carried out by cyber security experts, around 10 percent of people have used at least one of the passwords on their list in the past 12 months. This research is based on 5 million accounts that have been compromised. The research is re-published every year by a firm called SplashData that's based in Los Gatos. The firm provides security services and evaluates many of the millions of leaked passwords that are exposed by their analytics, showing which ones are the most easily compromised.
According to SplashData, "Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations". The firm explained the justification behind their research as being "to convince people to take steps to protect themselves online". SplashData also explained how most of the weak passwords were used by computer owners from within Western Europe and North America.
The worst passwords of 2018
So here they are, the worst passwords of 2018. If you recognise any of them, then it might be time to consider reviewing your online security:
It's important to remember that hackers have specialised software programs that are designed to crack weak passwords. The longer and more complex your password, the less likely your password will be hacked by such a program, as it would take months or even years for the computer to guess the unique string of numbers and characters.
If you're guilty of using one of the passwords on this list, then you shoulder consider changing it as soon as possible, particularly where that password is protecting super-sensitive data like financial information or names, dates of birth, addresses and so on. We've previously posted an article with advice on how to choose your own secure password so that you don't end up with one of the year's worst options.
Or if you need some specialised help with your password, you can get in touch with WiseGuys on 0808 123 2820 and we'll provide you with tailored advice to make sure that your accounts are as secure as they can be.