I was recently shocked to read that globally, 2020 saw some of the worst passwords in history. Suffice it to say that 123456 remains the most commonly used password according to cyber security specialists NordPass. If I told you that in 2020 this password was exposed in data breaches a staggering 23,597,311 times, you’d get some idea of the scale of the problem. You might also find it entertaining to take a sneak peek at some of the other passwords people most commonly used in 2020.
Why is this such an issue? The problem lies in breached logins being used to gain unauthorised access to your accounts. That could mean losing access to your email and it gets worse if you share the same insecure password across services or your social media account. The rest, as they say, is history.
The first step to averting disaster is to make sure you have a strong password. I mean a REALLY strong password, follow this 5-step advice and you’ll sleep better at night. I know I will.
1. Use 3 random words or a password phrase. It’s difficult to remember strong passwords but you can use 3 random words or long phrases that mean something to you but are not easily guessable from information you share on social media
2. Make sure your password is as long as possible and changed at least every 90 days; the longer it is the more difficult it is to breach. Most passphrases are naturally 15 characters or more
3. Don’t share your password with anyone
4. Change your password immediately if you suspect it has been compromised
5. Create unique passwords for banking, work and other online systems