Cybersecurity experts have shared the most commonly used passwords of 2023 – and they are as spectacularly stupid as ever. Coming in at number 1 is the old-favourite “password”, followed by “123456”, and then “123456789”.
As per the new analysis, the top 20 most commonly used passwords worldwide are as follows:
This work was recently carried out by NordPass, a password management service created by NordVPN, the popular VPN service provider that seems to sponsor every single podcast ever. To reach the findings, their cybersecurity experts studied a list of passwords compiled in a 4.3 terabyte database extracted from various publicly available sources, including those on the dark web.
Among the many interesting insights they sniffed out, the analysis revealed that accounts of streaming services tend to have the weakest passwords compared to, say, email accounts or social media accounts.
There were also so distinct regional differences. In Europe, football (that's soccer to North Americans) was a prevalent theme in many of the top passwords. Passwords like “liverpool”, “arsenal”, “chelsea”, and “rangers” were prolific in the UK, while things like “benfica” topped the list in Portugal. Italy, obviously, featured passwords like “juventus” and “napoli” in their top 10.
Some other surprise entries worth mentioning:
- The 24th most popular password in the US is “fuckyou” and the 63rd is “cheese”.
- In India, the 4th most popular password is “bigbasket”, which presumably has something to do with the country’s massive online supermarket.
- The 20th most popular password in South Africa was “Sexy1234”.
- "dragon" also appears in many of the national top password lists, for reasons that aren't perfectly clear.
NordPass recommends that each password should be at least 20 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols. You should also avoid using easily guessable or identifiable information like birthdays, places, names, or common words. Oh, and your favorite sports team.
“With the terrifying risks password users encounter, alternative methods in online authentication are now essential. Passkey technology, considered the most promising innovation to replace passwords, is successfully paving its way, gaining trust among individuals and progressive companies worldwide. Being among the first password managers to offer this technology, we see people are curious to test new things, as long as this helps eliminate the hassle of passwords,” Tomas Smalakys, the chief technology officer (CTO) of NordPass, said in a statement sent to IFLScience.