The times they have told us to personalize our passwords; that we do not use easy combinations; that we change them every so often … but there is no way. It is incredible, but 23 million people worldwide use the password ‘123456’ in their online accounts despite the obvious security risks.
The data is provided by the National Cyber Security Center of the United Kingdom (NCSC). Millions of people who use passwords are no longer insecure, but simply passwords that are not. After all, a password is, as defined by the RAE, “a secret sign that allows access to something, someone or a group of people previously inaccessible.”
The NCSC has published the results of a cybersecurity investigation. On this occasion, the information collected by the ‘Have I Been Pwned’ portal of the expert Troy Hunt, which collects data on access credentials shared by hackers in recent data breaches, has been analyzed.
Most striking is that 23.2 million users worldwide who have been victims of a cyberattack used the most frequent series of numbers as their password for online services accounts: ‘123456’.
Other frequent, and equally inadequate, are ‘123456789’, the second most frequent, used by 7.7 million people; or ‘qwerty’, employed by 3.8 million Internet users; ‘password’ used for 3.6 million; and ‘1111111’, with 3.1 million victims.
In other cases, the user pulls fictional characters like ‘superman’ and ‘naruto’; from his favourite music group (with ‘blink182′ and ’50cent’ at the head); or his football team (in England the most common password are ‘Liverpool’ and ‘Chelsea’).
Others prefer the “lock” of their own name. The NCSC study shows that users often use their own names to enter their accounts, such as ‘michael’, ‘daniel’, ‘jessica’, ‘charlie’ and ‘ashley’ , the latter employed as a password for more than 432,000 people.
A survey of this same National Cyber Security Center in the United Kingdom indicates that 42% of the citizens of that country are likely to be robbed of money from their online accounts before 2021. And yet, less than half acknowledge that they do not use a strong password that is different from that of your main email account.
Only 15% say they know a lot about how to protect themselves from dangerous activity. The 89% shop online and 39% do so weekly.