KEY POINTS

  • NordPass has published a list of the 200 worst passwords in 2020
  • The password “123456” is used by 2,543,285 people and cracked 23,597,311 times
  • NordPass recommends using more than 12 characters and changing passwords every 90 days

Passwords are vital nowadays in keeping precious things safe and away from unauthorized people who might have the wrong intentions. But not everyone knows how to create strong, reliable passwords that aren’t easily guessed or cracked.

Some think that their passwords are good enough to protect their data, documents or even money in the bank, but are they really?

Digital security company NordPass has published a list of the 200 worst passwords in 2020. These passwords are commonly used thus are also very easy to crack. They are not very effective in keeping malicious people away from valuable accounts and data.

Why is that?

“According to research, the majority of people use simple and easy-to-remember passwords, because it’s convenient. But the problem is that most memorable passwords are highly vulnerable to cracking,” NordPass noted.

Some passwords, like those containing an easy combination of numbers, characters or names, are common among many users around the world. This makes it easy for experienced digital thieves to guess them and open every account that should’ve been kept secure.

For example, the password “123456” is used by 2,543,285 people around the world. It normally takes less than one second to guess it. In fact, this password has been cracked 23,597,311 times already – which means people using this should do their best to think of another password.

The password “123456789” might fare better, but it’s still a dangerously weak password. There are 961,435 individuals who use this to secure their accounts. It takes less than one second to crack this password, and it has already been cracked 7,870,694 times.

The word “pokemon” isn’t a good password either. A total of 37,197 people use this to keep their data (and pokémon) safe, but it only takes less than a second to guess it. This password has also been guessed 242,154 times.

Creating strong passwords

To create strong passwords, one has to remember the following rules, as per NordPass:

  • Avoid using easy-to-guess passwords like names, dictionary words, number combinations or passwords created using letters and numbers adjacent to one another on a keyboard (like “1q2w3e4r”).
  • Avoid repeating the same character over and over, such as “aaaaaa” or “qqww1122.”
  • Use more than 12 characters if possible.
  • Use a diverse mix of characters: numbers, letters (upper and lowercase), symbols and so on.
  • Change passwords every 90 days.

NordPass also recommends using reliable password generators and management tools for the purpose of password creation and retention.

Login password prompt The most secure passwords are both long and strong enough not to be touched by any unwanted party. Photo: Achin Verma/ Pixabay