If you're still using your birthday as your go-to password, we've got some bad news for you: your personal data is vulnerable to theft and you aren't alone.
Password security remains the strongest defense against cyber attacks. Unfortunately, the reality is that best practices for passwords are rarely followed by the average user, and hackers have seriously been taking advantage. In fact, the FTC received 4.8 million identity theft and fraud reports in 2020.
To help you improve your password security, a new study has revealed the 200 most common passwords in 2020, so you can avoid them at all costs.
The Most Common Passwords of 2020
The study by NordPass — a popular password manager — found that there are quite a few common passwords still being used by the average online user. In fact, there are more than 2.5 million people using the most popular password (123456), which can typically be hacked in less than a second and has been exposed more than 23 million times by security breaches.
Here are the other top 10 most common passwords in 2020, and you can check out the study for the remain 190, which include gems like “sunshine,” “iloveyou,” and “666666.”
The study provided a number of other interesting statistics about how online users are protecting their personal information. For one, less than half (78) of 2020's most common passwords were new entries on the list, which means a staggering 122 passwords are still being used, despite the obvious safety risks.
On the lighter side of password security though, the study also found that “onedirection” is no longer a popular password, much to the chagrin of the defunct-since-2015 boy band. Additionally, “aaron431” overtook “ashley” as the most commonly used name-based passwords, a devastating blow for Ashleys everywhere.
Why is password security important?
All name and boy band-related goofs aside, the reality is that password security is easily the most effective way to protect your data online. Whether to be employing extremely complicated passwords or using a password manager, these small steps can save you a load of trouble down the road, even if you engage in other behavior that makes your personal information vulnerable.
In fact, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, the value of a good password is undeniable when it comes to the protecting yourself online.
“Passwords are the most common means of authentication, but only work if they are complex and confidential. Many systems and services have been successfully breached because of non-secure and inadequate passwords. Once a system is compromised, it is open to exploitation by other unwanted sources.”
Unfortunately, the state of password security is dire, as is evident from this study. To make matters worse, a Google study found that 59% of users put their name or birthday in their passwords, 43% have shared their passwords with another person, and only 45% would change their password if they learned of a security breach.
Simply put, passwords are important and people just aren't getting on board.
Getting Started with a Password Manager
Admittedly, remembering 20 complex and confidential passwords is not easy. Between all the characters and the capitals, it's not wonder people opt for some of the more common, easy to remember options. Still, given the importance of password security, there has to be a better way to stay safe online without the memory of an elephant.
Well, it's 2021, so obviously there is a tech solution to this common problem. Password managers are handy digital resources designed to make the password process a little less frustrating. They store your many passwords for you so they're easy to access, and it's all behind a hefty layer of encryption, so you don't have to worry about whether or not your data has been stolen.
We've done some research in the industry, and found that NordPass, the company that conducted the study, is actually one of the best. If you're interested in giving them a try, check out the pricing table below. You can make password security a priority at no cost, thanks to its impressive free plan.