Are You Using 123456 as Your Password?
April 23, 2019
Millions of people still use “123456” as their password. The numeric sequence remains the most popular password among a global analysis of public databases that were from breached accounts. More than 23 million passwords within the breached accounts used “123456.”
The second most common password: 123456789. Rounding out the top five were “qwerty,” “password,” and “111111,” according to the report by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.
“Cyber security is a serious issue, but there are simple actions everyone can take to better protect against hackers,” says Margot James, the creative industries minister with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. “Cyber breaches can cause huge financial and emotional heartache through theft or loss of data which we should all endeavor to prevent.”
Reusing passwords on multiple sites should be avoided, says Ian Levy, NCSC’s technical director. “Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team, or favorite band,” he says. “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.”
“Most Hacked Passwords Revealed as UK Cyber Survey Exposes Gaps in Online Security,” National Cyber Security Centre (April 21, 2019) and “Millions of People Still Use 123456 as Their Password,” TechSpot (April 22, 2019)
Updated: January 22, 2021