Top 20 Most Popular Internet Passwords

If you are busy maintaining your social life on Facebook, with no second thoughts on the password you have chosen, then it is time you ought to give it a change before hackers take the opportunity to break into your account.

According to Sydney-based data security firm Impreva, the most popular Internet password is “123456”, followed by “12345” and then “123456789”. The study, which analyzes 32 million passwords recently exposed in the breach, paints a grim picture of how vulnerable our online accounts are, especially those which contain simple credentials. It is quite depressing to see many people still turning a deaf ear despite a couple of hacks in the past few years.

The study also noted that people tend to use the same passwords on all or most of their online accounts, opening a big hole for hackers to easily access their targeted account. Some of the key findings include 30% of users chose passwords whose lengths is equal or below six characters (it is recommended to have a minimum of eight characters to be considered as a strong password), and almost 60% of users chose their passwords from a limited set of alpha-numeric characters, thus making them susceptible to basic forms of cyber attacks known as “brute force attacks.”

“Everyone needs to understand what the combination of poor passwords means in today’s world of automated cyber attacks. With only minimal effort, a hacker can gain access to one new account every second—or 1,000 accounts every 17 minutes,” said Imperva’s CTO Amichai Shulman.

For enterprises, password insecurity can have serious consequences. “Employees using the same passwords on Facebook that they use in the workplace bring the possibility of compromising enterprise systems with insecure passwords, especially if they are using easy to crack passwords like ‘123456’,” added Shulman.

“The problem has changed very little over the past 20 years”, he added, referring to a 1990 Unix study that showed a password selection pattern similar to what consumers select today. “It’s time for everyone to take password security seriously – it’s an important first step in data security.”

The main reason why people disregard security firms’ advice to select a strong for their online accounts is because today’s digital age requires humans to remember a lot of things. To some, it is an arduous task to keep track of many important data in our head — voice mail passwords, ATM PINs, Internet passwords, etc.

If you are one of those who have difficulty squeezing a dozen of different passwords into your brain, then a possible solution would be to create a strong and long password for Internet bank accounts or any websites that involve money transactions or storage of personal data. For social networking or entertainment websites where stakes are much lower, you can select a password that is relatively easy to remember.