No matter how much it is instilled in people, ingrained in the brain, there are those who still use the most common passwords.
It doesn’t matter if a company’s IT department repeatedly tells employees to use stronger, more creative passwords to protect online data and information, many Canadians are still using the most obvious passwords, new research showed.
Password manager NordPass revealed the 200 most commonly used passwords around the world in 2023 and, scarily but unsurprisingly, about 70% could be cracked in under a second.
In Canada and worldwide, the most common password is — you guessed it — “123456.” It was followed by “admin” and everyone’s third favourite “password.”
In fact, numerical sequences used as passwords were chosen by nearly a third (31%) of the world with “123456789,” “12345” and “000000” popular choices.
Researchers analyzed passwords from a 6.6TB database that were stolen by various malware and categorized the most popular passwords from up to 35 countries across eight types of platform categories.
“Simple dictionary words,” according to NordPass, were common password picks including “Cutie121,” “keeptrying” and “Boss1234!” topping Canada’s list.
The top 20 passwords used by Canadians in 2023 were:
Globally, a company or brand name was often linked to people’s passwords, so think “iPhone6s,” “Samsung1,” “1messenger” and the like, while “amazon” was one of the top passwords for Amazon customers to use.
Because many internet users will never learn, rather than improve how they come up with a password, some have stuck to already pre-configured passwords, NordPass noted.
The researchers found that hackers targeted passwords saved on browsers, a big reason why NordPass recommended people instead opt for for third-party software management products.
“With the terrifying risks password users encounter, alternative methods in online authentication are now essential,” said NordPass chief technology officer Tomas Smalakys.
“Passkey technology, considered the most promising innovation to replace passwords, is successfully paving its way, gaining trust among individuals and progressive companies worldwide.”
Passwords should be 20 characters long, when permitted, and a mix of both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols, the company suggested.
Also, each login should have its own password; using the same passwords for different sites makes you more exposed to getting multiple accounts hacked.