It’s estimated that 66% of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack in the last year. It’s not just businesses that are affected.
Individuals can be cyber-attacked and are often easier targets.
In many cases cyber attacks are complex affairs, aimed at breaching firewalls and other defense mechanisms.
However, hackers and cybercriminals can also access your data by simply hacking your password and using it to access your accounts.
To stay safe online you need secure passwords. The more unique a password the harder it will be for others to break it.
In short, you need to avoid the most common passwords and the most obvious ones.
It can be difficult to choose a safe and secure password.
However, once you realize how common certain passwords are in 2024, you’ll appreciate how easy it is to hack your accounts.
The Top 15 Most Common Passwords in 2024
If you’re using one of these most commonly used passwords, you need to change your password immediately.
The above list is based on actual data breaches which have occurred and the facts leaked.
This makes it easy to see which passwords have been used and compile a list of the most popular ones.
It was simply a case of compiling the data into a table, focusing on passwords, and sorting it to locate the passwords used the most.
This approach allowed us to analyze over 15 billion passwords. Sadly, only just over 2 billion of these passwords were unique.
That means 13 billion passwords were easy to guess.
If your password is one of the above, or even very similar, you should change it now.
Having to change your passwords and constantly think of new, yet unique, words or phrases can be difficult.
Fortunately, you don’t have to.
The simplest and most effective approach is to use a password generator. These are often built into password manager apps.
All you have to do is ask the app for a password and it will give you a randomly generated combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
Some of the best password generators currently available include:
Common Threads In Passwords
One of the best things about creating a password list based on data breaches is that we can see what inspiration people use to create passwords.
In most cases, the passwords were linked to a passion, such as sport, or food. There were also plenty of location-based ones.
Of most interest was the use of numbers. Many people used the most obvious numbers, such as 123 or 111 combinations.
Alternatively, using the year of birth also proved to be a popular option.
That means anyone cracking a password will instantly know your age.
Equally, a password hacker can find out your age from social media accounts and use this to help them figure out your passwords.
The funniest part is that most people realize they need strong and unique passwords.
When choosing one, most people will think about things that are easy to remember.
They will then use these things as part of their password.
After all, they will be easy to remember.
While you may think this gives you a safe and unique password, the opposite is actually true.
Because the password is based on something important to you, it’s surprisingly easy for others to deduce it.
It’s easier today than it has ever been as there is so much information about you online, most of which you have posted yourself to social media sites.
Generating A Strong Password
The simplest way to generate a strong password is to use a password generator.
However, you may be concerned about this.
Password generators create strong unique passwords. But, they are not easy to remember.
That means you’ll have to record them somewhere. That can make it more difficult to locate and use a password when you need it.
A password generator combined with a password manager is generally considered to be the safest approach. If you want to create your own, remember the following:
- The longer the password the harder it will be to guess
- Every good password should have letters in upper and lower case, numbers, and a symbol. They should be interspersed throughout the word
- Never use the passwords listed in this guide
The Number Combinations
It’s common for people to add a number to the end of the password. The most common option, after 11 or 123, is the year.
People will generally choose the year they were born, the year they created the password, or a significant year, such as when they got married or when a child was born.
Our analysis of the password data shows that 2010 was the most popular year to add to passwords.
It was closely followed by 1987 and then 1991.
This fits with known data on computer users and passwords.
Creating passwords started to become popular/essential in the 2000s, people born in the 1980s and early 1990s would be the first generation that needed to create multiple passwords.
There was also a baby boom during this period.
In short, there are more people with birth dates in the 1980s than in other decades, therefore more passwords will be required.
The popularity of 2010 in passwords is a little harder to categorize.
However, it is most likely an attempt to be unique while making it easy to remember the year chosen.
After all, if you pick 2008 but don’t have a specific event associated with the year, it will be difficult to remember which year you included in your password.
People often try to be unique by using a name as part of their password.
While this could be their own name or a child’s name, the statistics don’t support this.
The most commonly used names in passwords are:
- Eva – over 7 million uses
- Alex – also over 7 million uses just fifty thousand behind Eva
- Anna – with six and a half million uses
- Max – five and a half million uses
- Ava – five million uses
- Ella – nearly four million uses
- Leo – three and a half million uses
- Jack – three million uses
- Ryan – also three million uses
- Daniel – two and a half million uses
That’s not the same as the most common children’s names.
However, it is consistent with the most famous celebrities, showing where password inspiration comes from.
Unfortunately, if you use a celebrity name and mention them frequently on social media, you’re instantly giving people a clue regarding your password.
Top Sports Team
It’s not surprising that sports teams feature heavily in passwords. Again, they are very easy to predict.
Discovering the most popular sports team passwords does provide an interesting list of the most popular teams in the world.
Suns (the NBA’s Phoenix Suns) is the most popular. Heat (Miami Heat) is the second most popular.
Even soccer makes an appearance, with Liverpool being the most popular and fifth on the overall list.
There are more NBA teams than soccer teams, potentially showing that the NBA is more popular than soccer.
Of course, there are a lot more people living in the US than in the UK which could affect the results.
You may consider using a curse word as it is more likely to be unique. Equally, people may be less likely to suggest it as a password.
However, you’re not alone. Of the fifteen billion passwords analyzed, 152 million of them had curse words in them.
That’s approximately 7%.
The most favorite option is ‘ass’. Another popular option is ‘sex’, and the traditional ‘f**k’ is the third-place option.
Cities As Part Of Passwords
A lot of people take pride in where they live and what their town or city has to offer the world. It’s only natural to want to share that with the world.
That’s why people will often share city information on their social media channels.
In the process they’ll be helping hackers guess their password.
The other city option is your birth city, if that’s different to where you live now.
Again, there will be plenty of references to this in social media which will help hackers guess your password.
Interestingly, the most popular city to use in passwords is ‘abu’. This is followed by ‘Rome’ and ‘Lima’.
An interesting mix.
Days And Seasons
Everyone has a specific time of year they love the most.
For many it’s the summer season, a Friday evening or Saturday morning, the weekend stretching out in front of you.
After all, that’s generally when you feel happiest about life.
Surprisingly, while summer is the most popular season as part of a password, it’s followed by winter.
May is the preferred month, followed by June, then August.
Friday scores the top position for days but strangely, according to the data collected, Saturday is the least popular day.
This would make sense if people are adding the day they were born as part of the password.
Much fewer babies are born on a Saturday than during the week.
Food Based Passwords
The most popular food-based word is simply ‘ice’. It could be used in a wide array of contexts.
Interestingly, it’s followed by tea, one of the most popular drinks in the world.
Other options include ‘pie’, ‘cookie’, and even ‘cake’.
The Strength Of These Popular Passwords
At first glance any of the above can seem hard to guess.
After all, there are so many possible options.
Unfortunately, when a favorite food, sports team, or similar is used, you’re likely to talk about them online a lot.
That gives everyone an idea of what your password could be.
However, the real issue with the passwords extracted from the data is that very few of them had eight characters or more.
In other words, their length alone made them weak and easier to guess.
Easy passwords are easier to remember.
Considering how many different passwords you need to use daily, it’s understandable to use simple passwords or the same one for everything.
However, this type of password can be easily guessed.
If you are using one of the most common passwords in 2024, or any variant mentioned in this guide, it’s time to change it.
The strongest passwords are longer, numbers and special characters are interspersed with letters and the uppercase letters are never at the front or back of the word.
In fact, it’s best not to use a word but to create a random configuration of letters, numbers, and special characters.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to do this without using a word you know and jumbling it up.
While this approach is better than simply your favorite sports team followed by 123, the best option is a password generator.
You simply access the app, request a password, and they supply you with one.
The app will allow you to save the password and access it whenever you want to.
That’s the safest option and avoids you using the most common passwords.