We get told all the time to regularly change our passwords and make sure they are ‘strong’ and ‘secure’, yet many of us don’t. Resetting passwords might feel like a hassle, but it is most definitely worth it in order to reduce the risk of being hacked, and it might be easier than you think. Here are the top most breached passwords in the UK along with our top tips on staying secure.
The Top Most Hacked UK Passwords
Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published the UK Cyber Survey along with analysis of a list showing the huge number of regularly used passwords breached to access sensitive information.
Don’t get too excited if you don’t see any of your passwords on this list. There are plenty more cringe-worthy entries, as well as passwords that include personal information such as birthdays, anniversaries, pet’s names, or family member’s names, and no… Adding an ‘!’ or ‘123’ at the end doesn’t make them any less guessable!
The things you already know
Sometimes the old ones are the best! We’ve all heard it before, but resetting passwords regularly is the most effective way. Many breaches occur without you even knowing, and this way even if your password does get into the wrong hands, it won’t be useful to them for very long. Likewise, if you use the same password across multiple accounts and someone manages to guess it, then they instantly have access to all your other accounts.
Instead of focusing on more of the stuff you probably already know, here are some things you might not have thought about that will make looking after your passwords way simpler.
Take extra special care of your critical accounts
We’re not just talking about online banking. Your emails act as a gateway to your other accounts, and therefore give hackers access to much more. Once they’re in to your mailbox they can wreak havoc by resetting passwords and accessing any other accounts that use that email address. So, even if you can’t be persuaded to change your passwords for everything else, at the very least make sure that your most sensitive accounts are protected with unique secure passwords and two factor authentication.
Try using passphrases
If you struggle to remember complex passwords, then try using passphrases instead! Passphrases are made up of three or four completely random words, they are still highly secure but often far easier to remember. Try the Random Passphrase Generator to create your own random passphrases with special characters and numbers.
Add another layer of security
Two factor authentication is on the increase and it’s a really simple way to enhance the security of your accounts. Already used by most online banking apps, this is where you login with your password as well as another factor that isn’t easy to hack, usually a fingerprint or a security code sent by text.
Use a secure password manager
It can feel pretty impossible to remember all these different passwords, and with the average email address being used for 130 accounts, it’s a lot to keep track of. If you struggle to remember your passwords then try a secure password manager like KeePass, where you can store all of your encrypted passwords, generate new complex passwords, and access it all using just one login.