Security experts have repeatedly warned users to use online passwords that are not easy to crack. However, many users disregard the advice and continue to use easy combinations, not wanting to come up with something more complicated.
A study by the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) looked at a database of compromised accounts in the public domain. It turned out that most people, 23.2 million, still use simple passwords like "123456." Surprisingly, passwords like this are at the top of the list of compromised accounts.
The second most popular password is a bit longer than the first one, but it's hardly more difficult - "123456789". There are also variations with the addition of "password," "1111111" and "qwerty."
The National Cyber Security Center collaborated with Australian online security expert Troy Hunt. He talked about the variations of passwords that people use to protect their accounts.
A database of the most vulnerable passwords is available online. For example, you can see how secure your own combination is. For example, the password "zxcvbnm" - the Latin letters in the bottom row of the keyboard - has been detected more than 575,000 times in data breaches.
Troy Hunt's Web site has tips on how you can protect yourself from online hacking. The expert says it's a good idea to start by stopping using "123456" as a password for anything. Hunt also suggests using password manager apps.
According to the online security specialist, it makes sense to use two-factor authentication for sites and apps. They offer it as an additional layer of protection against hackers.