Password (Photo: ShutterStock)
The most hackable passwords
Think your password is strong enough?
According to the list of the 200 most common passwords this year published by NordPass, a password management company, the most popular password in 30 countries for "secure" login to accounts is Password ("password"), with almost five million uses.
In second place is "123456", followed by "123456789".
Rounding out the first five are the passwords guest ("guest") and qwerty.
In fact, despite all the reports of hackers and database leaks over the years, many people continue to ignore it and use these passwords, which can be cracked in less than a second.
A report from June revealed 24 billion usernames and password combinations circulating in online crime markets. So what can be done?
The information security company ESET explains that criminals use a variety of techniques to obtain passwords, including:
One of the oldest tricks around.
A scammer makes contact via email, text or phone and pretends to be a trusted entity.
They will usually come up with an excuse as to why you need to re-enter your login and other details for a particular service, and then copy them.
Using automated tools, hackers can use trial and error in an attempt to crack access to accounts.
They often enter common passwords to see if they can produce a match.
Login data theft:
A type of attack where hackers use previously compromised passwords bought from the cybercrime underground.
They then feed this into automated scripts to try in bulk across multiple websites and apps at the same time to try to hack into accounts.
Data-stealing malware is sometimes distributed via phishing emails or mobile malware that it filters into the app stores. Once a person uses a device or machine, it will secretly harvest passwords as they are typed. Over-
When you enter a password and are present Public, someone over your shoulder can easily see what you are typing and thus copy your information. Once hackers get into your account, they can steal all the personal data and information on it and even use the credit card themselves. The value of fake debit card transactions in 2021 has increased on 32 billion dollars, and is expected to rise to 38.5 billion dollars by 2027.
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A June report revealed 24 billion usernames and password combinations circulating in online crime markets (Photo: ShutterStock)
So what can be done?
ESET explains how we can protect passwords: Fortunately, password security is one of the easiest things we can achieve and enjoy immediate benefits for our digital lives:
Always use complex and unique passwords or phrases - this will make it harder for hackers to crack them.
Never recycle passwords, if someone has obtained one of your passwords, they can use it in other places and services.
Do not share passwords as others may misuse them.
Close unused accounts as they can be a security risk if you haven't noticed they've been hacked.
Use a password manager so all you need is the tool's master password.
Check password strength regularly and strengthen weak or old passwords.
Add two-factor authentication (MFA) if possible - so that you have an additional layer of security for passwords that require you to use another means of authentication, such as a face scan, fingerprint or one-time access code.
Use security solutions from a reputable company to protect against data thieves and other malware, as well as phishing attacks and other threats.
Do not click on suspicious links in unsolicited emails and text messages. If in doubt, contact the sender directly, not by replying to the message but by contacting them independently.
The 20 most popular passwords
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