The world's most predictable passwords

Do you know how much personal information you’re giving away on social media? Every time you answer a quiz, fill in a survey or share a picture of your birthday, hackers are waiting to use it against you.

We look at how they do it, and what you can do to stop it.

Fake Instagram influencer shows you how hackers collect your data

You could be giving away your passwords on social media without even knowing about it, letting hackers get into your accounts in seconds.

This new instagram account highlights the hidden meaning behind every social post, revealing how easily Gen Z are giving away key security information in their captured highlights. Through what we share online, the pictures we post and the locations we tag, hackers and criminals can guess your password in seconds, putting your identity and your bank accounts at risk of being stolen.

We look at the most predictable passwords being used right now, which of your accounts is most likely to be hacked and how you can make your passwords stronger.

Did you know?
  • 53% rely on memory to store passwords, meaning we immediately falter to easy passwords to remember, usually made up of information from our personal lives.
  • 78% of Gen Z use the same password for everything, making every account you have easy to access for hackers.
  • It costs a hacker just £744 to have full access to your phone, credit cards and social media profiles.
How you’re putting your personal information at risk

You may be posting a picture of your birthday balloons, a heartwarming picture of your new born baby, or snapping that ‘picture perfect’ bar you spent the weekend at. But those seemingly harmless posts could actually be giving away security information that gives hackers access to all your accounts.

The data behind the problem

LinkedIn, Facebook, eBay and Adobe are just some companies that have suffered major data breaches recently, where passwords and personal info have been stolen. But it’s not the only way for hackers to get access to your emails, apps or even bank accounts. With 78% of Gen Z using the same passwords for everything, the world is having a great big password problem. Add to that the fact that 53% of us use nothing but our memory to store passwords, it makes sense that we try and keep things simple.

However, while that might make things easier for us, it also makes them much easier for those who want our details. If they fall into the wrong hands, a password that’s easy to remember could make things very difficult. And given only 31.3% of us change our passwords once a year, once people are in, it could be hard to get them back out.

The most common passwords
that hackers love

We all have things that are easier to remember, which can come in handy when it comes to passwords. However, the easier they are for us to remember, the easier they are for hackers to guess. It only takes 10 minutes on average for a hacker to work out a password under six characters, meaning many of the most popular passwords are also some of the most crackable.

What's scarier is you could be giving away all the information a hacker needs from your social media posts alone. From your images, captions, location and date of posting, hackers can easily guess your memorable information that you use for your passwords.

Entertainment

The most frequent names for passwords

What’s easier to remember than your own name, or the name of a loved one, partner or pet? If your name is Eve, the answer is nothing. Eve gets ​​7,169,777 uses in passwords online, more than Alex with 7,117,656, Anna with 6,512,390, and Max with 5,670,058.

Names are incredibly easy to find on social media, no matter who the name belongs to. Whenever you tag your partner, reveal the name of a family member or mention a person you idolise, just remember it might not be as innocent as it seems.

Ice, tea and pie are all common food passwords

Your favourite meal would make a great password, right? Well, not quite.

Variations of ice are the most popular food password. The word appears in 5,979,306 passwords currently in use in the UK, whether that’s in iced tea, ice cream or ice lolly. All tasty treats, all easy to guess.

Speaking of tea, that’s the second most popular food password, appearing 3,220,773 times. Us Brits love a cuppa, but sadly the hackers do too, and what they do might be harder to swallow. Pie is the food password that appears next. There are currently 2,980,932 iterations of it on sites across the internet, making up a healthy slice of our online security.

Eve

7.2 millon

Media and advertising employees manage more passwords than those in any other industry

Calendar conundrum - weekdays, months and even seasons are easy to guess

From birthdays to anniversaries, memorable dates are a classic password choice. The problem is, once someone’s worked them out, they’ve likely also worked out lots of codes to other things too. With dates being easy to find on social media, they could be something best avoided when it comes to making information secure.

The top 50 most common password

Does one of your passwords appear in this list? It might not be as hard to guess as you’d hoped.

1 - 10
11 - 20
21 - 30
31 - 40
41 - 50
  1. 1 123456
  2. 2 123456789
  3. 3 picture1
  4. 4 password
  5. 5 12345678
  6. 6 111111
  7. 7 123123
  8. 8 12345
  9. 9 1234567890
  10. 10 senha

Your data is worth £6.8 billion to criminals

Easy passwords could make an easy living for internal criminals. According to a recent report on internet fraud, the black market for your online accounts is worth a huge £6.8 billion, and what makes it worse, your passwords are extremely cheap to get hold of.

For the mere price of £744, a hacker could have everything they know to access your social media profiles, your phone, your credit card and whatever else they fancy exploiting. Amazon account? Hacked. Ebay? Gone. Your passwords open so much online, and if they’re easy to guess, all of that could soon be someone else’s.

Finance
  • Debit card 65.30
  • Credit card 92.60
  • Online 203.50
  • PayPal 258

A scammer could buy your credit and debit card details, all your online banking logins, passwords as well as your PayPal account information for a total of £619.40

Email & Comms
  • AOL 2.10
  • Hotmail 2.30
  • Gmail 2.50
  • T-Mobile 15.10

Access to a selection of email and phone accounts available for less than a basic Tesco mobile pay as you go handset £24.99

Social Media
  • Reddit 1.60
  • Twitter 2.50
  • Facebook 3.00
  • Instagram 4.80
  • Pinterest 6.50

Access to a selection of social media and news accounts available for less than the monthly cost of a JD Gym membership £19.99

Online Shopping
  • Tesco 2.70
  • Groupon 8.10
  • Ebay 9.70
  • Prime 9.80

Someone could purchase your online shopping data for over £20 less than the average weekly UK shop £53.20

Entertainment
  • Stream 2.60
  • Spotify 2.90
  • Tidal 3.90
  • Netflix 8.20
  • Apple ID 10.30

All these account details are worth less than one monthly payment on the basic Virgin Media Player bundle £29

Travel
  • BA 4.60
  • Uber 4.90
  • Expedia 10.90
  • AirBnB 10.30

Your travel account data could be available for less than a weekly two-zone Oyster card pass £34.10

Finance
  • Debit card 65.30
  • Credit card 92.60
  • Online 203.50
  • PayPal 258

A scammer could buy your credit and debit card details, all your online banking logins, passwords as well as your PayPal account information for a total of £619.40

90% of us are worried about passwords being stolen

Security fears are on the minds of most of us, with 90% of internet users worrying that their passwords could be hacked. However, despite that, the same password is used to access five different accounts on average, making that fear a very realistic possibility.

So what can you do to make your password safer and keep the criminals at bay?

69% of employees share passwords with co-workers to access information.

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