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Locks and Security News: your weekly locks and security industry newsletter
21st February 2024 Issue no. 693

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New Data Reveals the Passwords That Could Get You HACKED!

Are you going to be embarrassed? Is your password really 'Password'? It is for almost a million people. And if your name is Michael...

Only half of internet users are somewhat familiar with best practices of password security. Therefore, it may not come as a surprise that in 2022, over 24 billion passwords were exposed by hackers.   

Brand new data released by online security platform, mymxdata.com, reveals the most common words, phrases and values used in passwords. 

Analysing data from a combination of global data breaches since 2019, the experts have scraped over 100 million different passwords to reveal what are the most common choice of password protection for internet users. 

From names, years, seasons, number combinations, and values, to sports, football teams, famous celebrities and fictional characters, here are the passwords you should really avoid using.

The most used names in passwords 

The name ‘Michael’ is one of the most used names for passwords, included in 107,678 passwords. Daniel is the second most used name, with a count of 99,399 passwords.  

Other names including Ashley, Jessica, Charlie, Jordan and Michelle are all most commonly used for password protections. 

Often, several websites will ask you to create a password which contains numbers as well. However, 6,621,933 passwords contain the not-so complicated number combination of ‘123456’. 

The most used values in passwords 

‘123456789’ is the second most popular number combination, featuring in 2,258,198 passwords. Followed by ‘111111’ used 968,155 times.  

‘Password’ has been used 946,935 times, along with ‘qwerty’ 878,496 times and ‘abc123’ 842,399 times. 

The most used years in passwords 

When it comes to years, 2013 is the most used year included in passwords, featured in a count of 129,745.  

The year of 2010 and 1986 are also amongst the top three most popular years used for password protection. 2010 is used for a total 79,294 passwords, whilst 1986 is used in 78,709 passwords.   

The most used football teams in passwords 

The top five football teams used are Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Arsenal and Juventas.  

Liverpool is the most used team, featured in 70,317 passwords. Followed by Chelsea featuring in 55,834 passwords.  

Amongst sports, football, baseball and soccer are the top three most popular sports for passwords, with ‘football’ being used a total 107,169 times. Baseball is the second most popular, featured 82,574 times.  

Soccer has a count of 79,735 passwords, followed by basketball with 62,667, hockey with 41,220 and tennis with 34,189. 

The most used famous figures in passwords 

blink-182 is the most used famous figure for passwords, with a count of 84,545.  

50 Cent places second, featuring in 55,897 passwords.  

Following in third is Eminem with 43,344 features, Slipknot with 39,630 and Metallica as the fifth most popular in 39,630 passwords. 

The most used fictional characters in passwords 

Amongst everyone's favourite fictional characters, Superman is the most featured in passwords, with a total count of 86,937. 

Batman follows in second, featuring in 52,388 passwords. Wall-e is the third most popular, with a count of 48,288. Rounding out the top six is Hello Kitty, SpongeBob, and Spider-Man, each with total counts of around 35,000.  

The most used seasons in passwords 

When it comes to seasons, summer is the most popular for passwords, resulting in a count of 57,453. With winter being the second favourite, in 22,517 passwords and spring in third place with 11,737, autumn is the least popular season, featuring in just 10,340 passwords. 

A spokesperson for mymxdata.com has commented on the study findings: 

“The number of times ‘123456’ is used for security is a staggering 6.6 million times. Using a combination which is so obvious to hackers can put your personal information at high risk. 

“Nearly everything we use online, from banking, shopping and social media used a password, and as cybercriminals continue to clamp down on users, high password security has never been so important.  

“Aim for a password that is at least 12 characters long, as long passwords are generally more secure. It is also recommended you use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, such as ., !, @, #, $, %.  

“Avoid using information that hackers can easily guess, mostly related to you. Names, birthdays, family members, pets or hobbies that can be easily traced is not advised. 

“Also, try to mix up letters, numbers, and symbols that does not follow predictable patterns, such as "12345" or "qwerty.  

“Attackers often use dictionaries and lists of common passwords in their attempts to crack passwords. 

“This also applies to using the same password for multiple accounts, because if a hacker guesses your password on one platform, then the hacker will attempt it on all your other active platforms. 

“Attackers often use dictionaries and lists of common passwords in their attempts to crack passwords. Change your passwords regularly, as this adds an extra layer of security. 

“If you would like to enhance security, password managers can help you generate and store complex passwords for each of your accounts, as well as making it easier to manage and remember multiple strong passwords.” 


29th November 2023

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