Millions of cyber accounts that have been hacked in recent years all used the same easy-to-guess password, a new study found.
The United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) analyzed passwords belonging to accounts around the world that had been breached and found that millions of people use the same basic passwords.
“123456” was revealed as the most common vulnerable password, which was used by 23.2 million accounts, while 7.7 million accounts used “123456789” as their password.
“QWERTY” and “password” were each used by about three million accounts.
Hundreds of thousands of other people used names as their password, with the most popular ones being “Ashley,” “Michael,” “Daniel,” “Jessica” and “Charlie.”
NCSC Technical Director Dr. Ian Levy recommends that people get more creative with their passwords to avoid getting hacked.
“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words,” he said. “Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”
The NCSC says they hope to reduce the risk of further breaches by building awareness of how attackers use easy-to-guess passwords.
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