We Know Your Boss’s Password, and It’s Not Very Secure

According to a recent report by NordPass, business executives need to use stronger passwords to avoid data breaches.
Isobel O'Sullivan

High-ranking executives and business owners continue to use extremely hackable passwords, recent research by password manager NordPass has found.

Despite compromised credentials being behind 81% of business breaches, the study revealed that company executives are using weak passwords just as much as regular internet users – with the code ‘123456' being the most popular.

Fortunately, for professionals already relying on security solutions like password managers, it's no longer necessary to rely on simple, predictable passwords. But for high ups still attempting to remember codes manually, here are some examples of the top codes they are using.

What Weak Passwords Have Executives Been Using?

Passwords are the first line of defense between you and threat actors trying to access your account. The longer and more complicated the code is, the more secure your device will be.

Yet, according to a report by password manager supplier NordPass, this reality appears to be lost on executives, with the majority of CEOs, C-level executives, business owners, and members of management using easy-to-hack passwords when protecting their business accounts.

With standouts like SKIFFY (number 43) and Willkommen (number 46) narrowly avoiding making the cut, here are the 10 most commonly used passwords by executives:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 123456789
  5. qwerty
  6. 1234
  7. qwerty123
  8. 1q2w3e
  9. 111111
  10. 12345678

123456 was by far the most frequently used password, boasting a total of 220,405 users. Varients like 12345678 and 12345 also proved to be popular, just as they appear to be with regular internet users.

The research also found that names are also an extremely common choice for passwords. ‘Tiffany' took the top spot with a staggering 100,534 uses, and ‘Charlie' trailed behind at 33,699.

Why Is a Password Manager So Important?

In 2022, practically every online server and platform requires a password, with many requiring you to change it periodically for extra protection.

Due to these factors, most workers are required to juggle a lot of passwords at once.  In fact, research suggests that individuals are required to remember an average of 100 passwords at one time.

If you've been blessed with a photographic memory, this might be possible. But for the rest of us, there are password managers.

Password managers let you bulk up your online security by remembering all your codes for you. They also generate complex, impenetrable passwords themselves, store all this information, and allow you to log into sites automatically.

It might not quite be as simple as counting to six, but as cyberattacks continue to stifle businesses up and down the country, downloading a password manager is one of the easiest ways to protect your private information.

To discover the best solutions on the market, read our summary of the best password managers here.

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Isobel is a writer at Tech.co with a wealth of experience covering business and technology news. Since specializing in Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also spent time working as a freelance tech researcher. As a writer, Isobel takes a particular interest in issues regarding data security, social media, and emerging business technology.

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