123456 Continues to Be the Most Breached Password in the UK

When you think of a strong password, you should think of a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. When you think of a weak password, you should think of a simple word or a predictable combination of letters or numbers. 123456, without a doubt, is the perfect example of a weak password. Unfortunately, even though everyone seems to know it, people continue to use it to “lock” their online banking accounts or social media profiles. Needless to say, that is a terrible move, and if you need more information as to why it is such a bad idea to use 123456 as your password, you are reading the right article. Besides going through the issues, we also show how to replace weak passwords with strong passwords that should be impenetrable.

123456 is the most breached password in the UK

There are over 66 million people living in the United Kingdom, and every single one of them might own a large number of accounts that are protected using passwords. Unfortunately, as it has been made clear by the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), people continue to use weak passwords. In fact, at least 23.2 million accounts are protected using the 123456 password. This is how many accounts with this password have been breached, and so the number of actual instances where this password is used could be much higher. This is quite shocking, considering that 42% of people in the UK believe that they will end up losing money due to online fraud. This is strange because it would seem that people would take better care of their virtual accounts and would take virtual security more seriously if they felt threatened by security issues.

The survey conducted by NCSC has also revealed that only 15% of respondents were confident about their knowledge of virtual security. If you belong to the 85% who are not so confident, the first lesson you should learn is that a weak password is a security liability. Cyber attackers are well aware of the weakest passwords, and it is not hard for them to use that against careless users. In many cases, we use email addresses to log into our online accounts, and if they are leaked, it is not hard for hackers to check whether or not the account’s login password is easily guessed. Lists of most popular passwords are made public every year, and it takes little effort on the attackers’ part to steal email addresses and try to match them to popular weak passwords.

Arguably, 123456 is the worst password you could use as it was the most popular password last year. Needless to say, a password like that is easy to memorize and enter when logging in. In comparison, a strong password – something like M$C@`TF&9wPzH8 – is not easy to remember or use. That being said, sacrificing comfort for security might not be such a terrible thing. Luckily, you do not need to sacrifice anything. Yes, we want to show you how to replace weak passwords with strong ones, but before you do that, we recommend installing a password manager. There are plenty to choose from, but if you want a tool that is free, versatile, and reliable, Cyclonis Password Manager is the tool for you. It is compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems, and you can use to lock up all kinds of data, starting with passwords and ending with bank account numbers, WiFi passcodes, car plate numbers, etc. If there is anything you want to keep safe but have easy access to, a password manager is the perfect tool for you. Once all passwords and sensitive information is synced with this tool, you will only need to remember a master password that will give you access and make it easy to use the auto-fill feature. Basically, with this tool, you will never need to enter another password manually again, and that creates perfect conditions for creating truly complex and impenetrable passwords.

How to protect login credentials against hackers

Now that you know that 123456 and similar passwords are not apt to protect you, you need to learn how to replace weak passwords. Cyclonis can help you do that, and once all passwords are entered, you can use the integrated Password Analyzer tool to “Fix” weak passwords. Alternatively, you can access every single account you have and replace weak passwords manually. In this situation, make sure you protect your passwords. Think carefully before you decide to store your passwords on the browser, write them down on a physical piece of paper, or, for example, add them to an unprotected document file.

As you also know, your password is just one part of the issue. You also need to protect the username, email address, or whatever other piece of data you enter when logging in. Most importantly, do not share this information carelessly. Of course, if it is an email address, you might be sharing it left and right whether you like it or not, but you have to be mindful. For example, if you face online surveys or other kinds of forms, think carefully if you really trust them. We advise not disclosing any personal information where it isn’t absolutely necessary. Share your email address with your colleagues, disclose it when registering a new account, enter it on a purchase form to get package delivery information, but do NOT disclose it just because someone promises you gifts or discounts.

Finally, in the event of a data breach, act quickly to change passwords to prevent further security issues, and do not forget to update passwords on those accounts that might match the jeopardized login username and password. Speaking of the matter, if you have recycled passwords in the past, you are very vulnerable. Recycled passwords are weak passwords because if one account is breached, breaching the next one could be like taking candy from a baby. Also, note that adding a symbol or a number to the same password to “change things up” doesn’t do the trick! Every single password you use has to be original.

May 14, 2019

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