The most widely used passwords in 2021 were revealed, and to call them an embarrassment would be an understatement, to say the least.
For a new one report From NordPass, a service that offers a password manager program, a worrying number of users still rely on extremely weak passwords.
The 200 most frequent passwords in the 2021 study, which covers 50 countries, show that “123456” remains the most popular password for the second year in a row. More than 103 million people use it for login purposes, although it would take less than a second to crack.
Other commonly used passwords in the top 10 list are mostly number-based passwords like “123456789”, which are used by 46 million people. The only two that don’t contain a numeric form are “qwerty” and of course “password”. They are used by 22.3 million and 20.9 million users, respectively.
When it comes to other bad password choices, an “astounding” number of people have chosen to make their own name their preferred password. Otherwise, Ferrari and Porsche are the most popular car brands in terms of weak passwords.
Unfortunately, passwords are getting weaker and weaker and people are still not exercising proper password hygiene.
While the vast majority of the 200 most common passwords can be cracked in less than a second – or in some cases, a few seconds – there are some that take significantly longer to access. “1g2w3e4r” and “gwerty123”, both used by a million people, would take three hours to crack. Interestingly, removing the “123” from “gwerty” makes it a much easier target as it only takes five seconds to crack.
The passwords in the list, which take between 1-3 hours to penetrate, “michelle”, “jennifer”, “myspace1” and “zag12wsx” are rounded off.
NordPass’ methodology for designing its research involved working with independent researchers who specialize in the research of cybersecurity incidents. The list of the most common passwords was created based on an evaluation of a 4 TB database of leaked passports.
“Unfortunately, passwords are getting weaker and weaker and people still don’t pay attention to the correct password hygiene”, Jonas Karklys, CEO of NordPass said Lifewire. “It’s important to understand that passwords are the gateway to our digital lives, and as we spend more time online, it becomes extremely important to take better care of our cybersecurity.”
Fixed the problem
So how can you add extra layers of security that better protect your passwords? It goes without saying that no one should use “123456” as an entry point to an account – or any of the passwords in the above report. Password managers have become commonplace and are usually a reliable way out, and two-factor authentication should also be considered as an additional security measure.
Of course, given their security flaws, passwords are generally the number one target for hackers. In fact, 81% of hacking-related violations are achieved through weak or stolen passwords.
“The most common security vulnerability today is still bad passwords.”
“Weak passwords are the entry point for most attacks on corporate and consumer accounts. There are a whopping 579 password attacks every second – that’s 18 billion a year, ”Microsoft in detail in September.
Apple has now integrated a newer form of technology into its devices via iCloud Passkey, which effectively removes passwords and offers a more secure process via public key cryptography.
Apple joins Microsoft and Google in envisioning a future of passwordless authentication. Software giant Microsoft, for example, already has more than 200 million users enable passwordless login for his services.
“The most common security hole today is still bad passwords,” said Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s senior vice president of core systems, in May. “Ultimately, we are on a mission to create a password-free future.”