Cybersecurity: the most commonly used passwords you should avoid to stay safe online


Even in the year of grace 2022, people are still using painfully obvious passwords which can expose them to hackers and online scams. A study revealed that the most common password this year is the word “password”, which is somehow still typed by 4.93 million users.

In second place is “123456”, which has been deployed by 1.52 million people, followed by “123456789” in third place with just over 413,000 users.

A total of 200 popular passwords are on the new list, which was compiled by independent cybersecurity specialists for NordPass, a password manager from virtual private network maker NordVPN. They scoured three terabytes of data – the equivalent of 48 smartphones worth of information – from 30 countries as part of their research.

Other entries included “guest” at number four, followed by “qwerty” at number five, and several matching numbers scattered throughout the rest of the top 10, including “111111”.

The results show that we’ve either become lazy in the art of creating passwords, or we’re simply suffering from password fatigue due to all the codes we struggle to remember.

Here in the UK, ‘liverpool’ and ‘arsenal’ finished fourth and sixth respectively, no doubt pushed by passionate football fans. While those with brain food opted for ‘chocolate’ (number 18) and ‘cheese’ (23), although combining the two may have been a stronger but less flavorful option.

The study showed how lax some people are when it comes to online security

/ North Pass

A total of 332 people even chose the expletive “boll*cks,” perhaps in a fit of rage after being forced to reset their passwords for the umpteenth time.

Of course, there are ways to set and keep track of a stronger password. As NordPass notes, you should go for one with at least 12 characters, with a variety of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols sprinkled in to make it watertight. Also, you should avoid using the same password on multiple sites, as this will simply make it easier for hackers to access multiple of your accounts. Password managers can also help you store these codes so you don’t have to remember them.

You can see more tips in our guides on how to create strong personal and professional passwords to keep your data safe.

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