NEARLY HALF OF the most common leaked passwords begin with "123" according to the British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and security researcher Troy Hunt.
Hunt, who runs the Haveibeenpwned website, dug into the top 100,000 passwords and found a whole treasure trove of lazy passwords at the top of the charts.
If you were to try and map out a pattern to follow between them, it's patterns on keyboards rather than actual words. So while "password" makes an appearance in fourth place, the significantly more secure "password1" in ninth, "iloveyou" in 14th", "monkey" in 19th and "dragon" in 20th, the rest is all numbers and letters.
In top spot: "123456". That cunning code has been found a jaw-dropping 23.2 million times across the data breach records, which is significantly higher than "123456789" in second, which only appears 7.7 million times. "Qwerty" - the password choice for simpletons that don't believe in numbers - comes in third with 3.8 million.
While the top 20 was filled up with variations on the top row of the keyboard, some themes emerged elsewhere too. "liverpool" was the most popular football team name, while "ashley" was the most used name. In the world of fictional characters, "Superman" was used 333,139 times, a long way head of "Batman" on 203,116. Sandwiched between them: "Tigger" - though presumably, these have all changed to "ChangeUKer" now.
Meanwhile, "blink182" and "50cent" topped the bands and musicians lists. Good on them for practicing good security in their band names and including both numbers and letters, though it would have been better if they'd included a unique character in there. Like Prince did when he renamed himself.
"Making good password choices is the single biggest control consumers have over their own personal security posture," said Hunt. "Recognising the passwords that are most likely to result in a successful account takeover is an important first step in helping people create a more secure online presence."
In other words: for God's sake, get a password manager. µ
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