According to the govtech website, the number of data breaches this year has increased by roughly 17% since last year. From the Healthcare ransomware attack to the Acer attack, our information can practically be exposed effortlessly. However, it does not help when computer users set the most pathetic and easiest passwords to break through. Here are some of the worst passwords as retrieved from the password manager NordPass:
Any Password With a Sequential Set of Numbers: By “sequential set of numbers”, we mean passwords such as 12345, 11111, and 54321, all three of which were actually passwords found by NordPass. While a sequence of numbers may be easy to remember, they are also easy to break through. Instead, it is best to use the numbers of your birthday. Even your social security number may be safer to use than this!
Any Password With a Sequential Set of Letters: Examples of this type that were actually founded by NordPass include mostly vowels such as aaaaaa and oooooo. These passwords are a bit more secure than numbers because the hacker needs to enter the correct number of characters and the correct letter chosen by the user. However, it is still easy to break through. To make these passwords more secure, perhaps insert a random letter in between (ex. Ooooogooooo)
Password: Yes, people are still using this as their password. In fact, according to NordPass, over 400,000 computer users still believe using the word “password” will keep their information safe. It doesn’t. When conducting brute force attacks, “password” is one of the first words hackers enter. While “password” is, again, easy to remember, perhaps you can spell the word backwards: “drowssaP”. This way, your information is safer and your password is still fairly easy to remember.
Abc123: Another password that is just as easy to break as “password”. Users believe that inputting numbers and letters in the same password string will keep their information secure. Also, it is easy to remember as “3” rhymes with “c”. However, “b” also rhymes with “3” so perhaps try “acb123”. It is more a bit more perplexing and still easy to remember.
Qwertyuiop: This password is literally the top letters of the keyboard going from left to right. Again, these types of passwords can be cracked in a matter of seconds through simple letter mashing from left to right. There are other more uncommon keyboard combinations that may be safer to use as passwords, such as “qazwsxedcrfvtgbyhnujmik” that are less obvious and are also longer since they encompass the entire keyboard. Consider switching to these types of login credentials.
In general, the best way to keep information secure is through more meaningful passwords such as the name of your family member or your favorite food. Also, increasing character length may also help. Regardless, NordPass CEO expresses his disappointment at people’s laziness when creating passwords: Unfortunately, passwords keep getting weaker, and people still don’t maintain proper password hygiene. It’s important to understand that passwords are the gateway to our digital lives, and with us spending more and more time online, it’s becoming enormously important to take better care of our cybersecurity.”