In its first-ever UK Cyber Survey, a British cyber security agency released its worldwide list of the 100,000 most commonly used passwords.
According to Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, the most common five passwords that lead to security breaches include 123456, 123456789, qwerty, password and 1111111. These five passwords had a combined total of more than 40 million victims of cyber crime
The agency said people with these passwords — along with passwords like iloveyou, qwertyuiop and 123abc — should change them.
Margot James, digital and creative industries minister for Britain’s Department for Digital, Media and Sport, said there are simple actions everyone can take to prevent being hacked, including choosing a strong and separate password for email accounts
“Cyber breaches can cause huge financial and emotional heartache through theft or loss of data which we should all endeavour to prevent,” James said.
NCSC technical director Ian Levy said people should not protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name or favorite football team or band. Levy also said people should review applicable advice from the NCSC to make themselves less vulnerable.
“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words,” Levy said. “Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”
Along with the study, the agency also surveyed people about their awareness and attitudes towards cyber security. The results of the study will be presented to the British government, organizations and the public to make the country safer.