The Passwords Most Likely to Get You Hacked

A UK security firm has released a list of the most-hacked passwords

A man using a laptop in Turkey. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A man using a laptop in Turkey. (Photo by Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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To help inform government policy and offer advice on how to stay safe from hackers online, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the UK conducted its first “cyber survey.”

By analyzing passwords belonging to accounts that had been hacked around the world, the NCSC determined the most vulnerable passwords on the web.

The NCCS survey found the 10 most common passwords — i.e. ones you should not use  — are as follows.

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 111111
  6. 12345678
  7. abc123
  8. 1234567
  9. password1
  10. 12345

The survey also found “liverpool,” “blink182,” “superman” and “ashley” are also very popular passwords in the UK.

In a blog post, NCSC risk management expert Ian M suggests using three random words is a strong strategy for drafting a tough-to-hack password.

“If stopping a cybercriminal breaking your password relies on long and complex passwords, where does three random words come from? Well, super-long and complex passwords aren’t necessarily the best option for a number of reasons,” he wrote. “Three well-chosen random words can be quite memorable but not easy to guess. It provides a good compromise between protection and usability.”

Ian Levy, the NCSC ‘s technical director, also shared his insights. “Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided — nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favorite band,” he said in a statement. “Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”

Also, here are 12 more ways to help protect yourself online.

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