It might seem like the simplest option is to pick something easy and use that as your password for everything. But this poses a security risk.
Different people all over the world often go for the same simple passwords, making it easy for hackers to access their accounts.
UK experts carried out a survey into the passwords most vulnerable to hacking and, unsurprisingly, if yours is something like ‘123456789’ then it might be time for a change.
Football teams are a popular password choice
The UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) analysed passwords worldwide that belonged to accounts that had been hacked.
Several combinations of numbers comprised the top 10. The number combination ‘123456’ was the most popular password, with 23.2 million easy-to-hack accounts using this sequence. In a similar vein, ‘123456789’ was used by 7.7 million, while the word ‘password’ was used by three million.
Sports teams were also popular, with ‘liverpool’ at the top, followed by ‘arsenal’, ‘chelsea’ and ‘manutd’.
‘Superman’ was the most popular fictional character and ‘blink182’ was the most common musical artist used as a password.
The top 10 most common passwords
What is a safe password?
The NCSC said that safe passwords should include “three random but easily memorable words strung together”
NCSC technical director Ian Levy told Techcrunch, "Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided. Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favorite band.
"Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words.
“Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can't guess your password.”