Don’t want your Passwords to be breached? Use Complex Passwords

It is indeed intriguing to know that we all think the same way; let’s take the example of Passwords. Do you know, 23.2 million people worldwide have “123456” as their password. Yes, all of them didn’t realize how vulnerable they are to a data breach.

The internet as we know has revolutionized our lives, some are at better leaving the rest at worst. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) reports that 42% of Brits will lose their precious money due to online fraud.

The report which was released on Easter weekend April 21st, 2019 stresses that a majority of these frauds are due to weak passwords; the exposed gaps are an open invitation to hackers and fraudsters to breach online security with ease.

As per the report, “123456” and “Ashley” were the most used password. Moreover, the global password risk list was released with all the password already known to fraudsters.

Talking about the preventive measures – globally, organizations have spent more than $96.3 billion on cybersecurity in 2018. But unfortunately, they are still vulnerable to security breaches, baffling security experts and privacy advocates.

The polling by NCSC shows that almost 100,000 passwords are in the directories of hackers and have already been cracked.

Password Trends and Cybersecurity

Ian Levy, technical director at NCSC, was quoted saying;

“Password reuse makes you vulnerable to major risks online. Nobody should protect their oversensitive data with something that can be easily guessed.”

The NCSC adds that this list of breached passwords was created only when breached credentials were collected. The report found that around 70% of people use PINS and passwords to protect their mobile devices and tablets.

More than half of the people polled said they are concerned if their money would be stolen online; means people are only concerned with their hard-earned bucks and are not afraid to lose their passwords – don’t you think, we are taking our passwords for granted.

Unfortunately, this majority is closely followed by privacy activists and advocates. They stress that the first notion that comes in their mind is whether they are protected by high-tech online security or are they being watched?

These privacy-conscious individuals find tools to ensure online privacy via state-of-the-art encryption. A cheap fix could be choosing a complex password which we all are really bad at doing.

We think you guys are still confident with your password skills, find the list of breached passwords; this will haunt you for sure.  

Breached Passwords in Numbers

We are often baffled how our account got taken over, especially when we feel so confident over our password selection. A website Have I been Pwned came up with over 100,000 passwords that were breached. The results are hilarious yet concerning, as they depict how much of a fool we are.

Let’s look at the most breached passwords!

Rank Breached Passwords No. of Breaches  
1. 123456 23.2 Million
2. 123456789 7.7 Million
3. Qwerty 3.8 Million
4. Password 3.6 Million
5. 1111111 3.1 Million
6. 12345678 2.9 Million
7. Abc123 2.8 Million
8. 1234567 2.5 Million
9. Password1 2.4 Million

From a total of 551,509,767 (500 Million) breached passwords, the above one’s got the most credit. Such passwords are targeted because they are so obvious and simple to break into; even our parents can guess!   

Troy Hunt, an international web security expert said;

“Making good password choice is essential; it is one single best security posture which is typically ignored”

Here is a list of the 8 most commonly used names as passwords which were common in all breaches by fraudsters.

Rank Breached Passwords No. of Breaches  
1. Ashley 432,276
2. Michael 425,291
3. Daniel 368,227
4. Jessica 324,125
5. Charlie 308,939
6. Jordan 297,882
7. Michael 294,662
8. Thomas 284,148

Seriously, the name Ashley should be banned I guess!

Anyways, it’s never too late! We should take password-management seriously.

How to Avoid a Breach – The Smart Way?

While not using the globally common “123456” would be fruitful,

Do you want to know what the security expert – Hunt suggests?

Have a look!

An individual should use a password manager which offers new passwords and manages accounts.

  • Two-factor authentication on websites and apps add an extra wall of protection between you and the hacker, so why not use with passwords?

There are other steps to be taken to ensure cybersecurity, but when it comes to passwords, Hunt’s words are more than enough.

To conclude this piece of news, let me share one of the thought-provoking

“Recognizing passwords, which are likely to be hacked in an account takeover, is important as it adds more security to your online presence.”

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