If you’ve ever had your bank account drained or your identity stolen, you probably have a profound appreciation for the need to use strong passwords. Maybe your social media account was hacked.
It’s not the worst thing that could happen we suppose. Unless, of course, all your close friends get messaged a cute little cat meme with a “read this, so funny” virus-loaded link. Needless to say, hackers and nefarious internet crooks work overtime to steal their way into our lives.
Some of them want nothing. They just like to cause havoc. One of the most critical walls against an unwanted invasion is your passwords. Weak passwords leave you vulnerable. Most appreciate this fact. However, others evidently “did not get the memo”.
There are no-brainers like doubling your email username as your password. Or, even the insane story of people using number progressions like 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Many of these security blunders are almost too crazy to believe.
Nonetheless, many people still do not take the time to secure strong passwords. That is, until they get hacked. Speaking of hackers and cybersecurity professionals, a mobile security firm called “Lookout” recently published a list of the most common password faux pas.
The initial reference to the craziness to which some people resort to keep their passwords simple is one thing. However, the actual list of the 20 most commonly found passwords on the dark web reinforces a remarkable sense of ignorance.
The good old number progression made the list not once, but multiple times. In fact, 1, 2, 3, plus additional numbers just for extra security, garnered five out of the top-10 spots. If you go 1, 2, 3, and continue to basically any final number, you’re fooling yourself.
However, there were some other rather eye-popping discoveries. Six #1’s, all in progression, came in at the number seven spot in the ranking. QWERTY, as in a type of keyboard, magically earned two spots in the top-10.
The tenth most common dark web password uses qwerty as well, but ingeniously adds the numbers 123 to the end. We were sort of surprised that 1q2w3e made the list, but evidently that’s another pretty common password.
The 16th honor went back to the old number sequence, but these users are sharper than your average computer geek. They went backwards. Ouch, that’s almost tech-geek painful to consider.
The list contained some slightly more elaborate versions of the old standbys, but all of them could probably be hacked by a computer-savvy second-grader. The last pair on the list was rather odd as well.
ILoveYou landed in the 19th spot. Straight 6’s, six of them just for emphasis, finished off the list. The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology is recommending everyone take a close look at the strength of their passwords.
Multifactor authentication adds an even heavier layer of protection. With the Russian offensive in Ukraine, most cybersecurity experts are concerned about an alarming increase in hacker activity. Now is as good a time as any to beef up your password security.
There are multiple avenues where you can learn how to develop strong, but hopefully memorable, passwords. Just try not to use your pet’s name and the number one. Safeguard your internet security. Don’t be a hacker’s dream. You may wake up to a rather unpleasant surprise.
So, in a simple list, here are the 20 passwords most commonly found on the dark web, due to data breaches: