Passwords help people feel like their vital information is protected, and when passwords are robust, it is protected. To make remembering passwords easy, people often use simple phrases or words that are easily guessed or hacked.
This is such a regular occurrence that researchers have compiled a list of the most common passwords in the world, by country. It’s surprising to see so many weak passwords spread across the world.
It’s tempting to think only of our own password creation and use. However, it’s also important to remember that governments, corporations, and professional organizations rely on passwords to secure your account information.
You can do everything right when selecting passwords, managing these properly, and opting into multi-factor authentication. But a breach at the organizational level, as seen recently with the cyberattacks on the Costa Rican government, can have serious repercussions for you and your data.
When it comes to protecting yourself online, some things are simply beyond your control. Fortunately, you can take steps to actively protect yourself and your data while reducing the likelihood of becoming a cybercrime victim.
Powerful Password Statistics to Keep in Mind
Before you commit to your newest passwords, there are a few statistics related to passwords that you should know. A few of the most shocking statistics include the fact that more than 23 million people are currently using the password “123456.”
In fact, “123456” is the most common password in the world. In the United States, “iloveyou” holds the top password spot. In Germany, people rely on “passwort” more than any other password to protect their information. Denmark and Norway are similarly inclined, with the top password spot claimed by “webhompass.”
Maybe even more shocking than users consistently relying on common words for passwords is that an alarming 50 percent of people use the same password for every one of their accounts. This means a single compromised account can quickly lead to an incredible loss of personal data.
Protecting your Online Accounts
It’s not too late to start protecting your accounts more effectively. Take a good look at how you use your passwords to see if you’re falling into any of these bad habits:
Using the same password for multiple accounts
Or using the same password for both personal and work accounts. Not only can a breach in one account quickly give a hacker access to all of your other accounts, but a compromised work account could lead to loss of data for other employees as well.
Including personal information
Using important names, dates, or personal information to create your passwords means including information that is easy to source and leads to passwords that are quickly guessed.
Managing passwords without software assistance
There’s simply no way to keep track of unique, complex passwords for every online account you have. Instead, invest in password software to keep your data better protected.
Failing to update your passwords
Set up a reminder to update your passwords every six months. If your password has been compromised through a larger breach, regularly updated passwords can help keep your information safe.
Accessing accounts on public networks
Even great passwords and proper password management can lead to compromised accounts if you aren’t using well-protected networks. Only access your account from secure and trusted networks.
Relying on passwords alone to protect your account
It’s time to think about account protection as multi-faceted. An additional security measure like two-factor authentication can further reduce the likelihood that your information becomes compromised.
Embrace Smarter Password Use for Better Account Protection
According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report of 2020, more than 80 percent of data breaches are linked to poor password security. Addressing those bad password habits and making some changes to how you access your account can make all the difference in keeping your personal information secure.
It’s clear that passwords don’t offer as much protection as we once thought they did. The tech industry is fully aware that password protection needs to evolve. Update your password protocols today, but for the best account protection, be on the lookout for new multi-factor authentication options and even the use of biometrics to keep your accounts protected.