Internet users have been urged to use “hard-to-guess” passwords after a study by the UK government revealed the most vulnerable ones globally.
‘12345’, ‘123456789’ and ‘qwerty’, ‘password’ and ‘1111111’ were identified as the top five passwords “accessed in global cyber breaches,” according to a National
Cyber Security Centre study quoted by The Independent.
The study has “found that using easily guessed passwords across multiple accounts is a major gap in the online security habits of British people.”
Many internet users surveyed by the National Cyber Security Centre were unaware of ways to save themselves from cybercrime.
42 per cent expected to lose money to online fraud, while just 15 per cent of the survey’s 2,500 respondents said they knew “a great deal” about harmful activity online and ways to protect themselves.
Almost half of the respondents said they did not “always use a strong, separate password for their main email account.”
Ashley, Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie were revealed to be the most common names used in a password. Liverpool was the most common Premier League football team used in a password, followed by Chelsea, Arsenal, “manutd” and Everton.
Blink 182, 50 cent, Eminem, Metallica and Slipknot were found to be the most frequently used music-related passwords while Superman was the most common fictional character used in a password with Naruto, Tigger, Pokemon and Batman also making up the top five.
Dr Ian Levy, NCSC’s technical director, said: “We understand that cybersecurity can feel daunting to a lot of people, but the National Cyber Security Centre has published lots of easily applicable advice to make you much less vulnerable.
“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”
Troy Hunt, whose website Have I Been Pwned? allows people to check if their account has been compromised in a data breach, also urged internet users to use better passwords.
“Making good password choices is the single biggest control consumers have over their own personal security posture,” he said.