Are you using one of the most-hacked passwords?

The most common computer passwords have been revealed.

The research showed a number of easily guessed log-ins are still being widely used, despite warnings about cyber security.

123456 was the most used, ahead of 123456789 and qwerty – the series of letters which appear in a line on a computer keyboard.

The word password and 1111111 were also popular.

Ashley was revealed to be the most common name used in a password, followed by Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie.

Liverpool was the most common English Premier League football team used in a password, with Blink 182 the most common music act.

Cyber security expert Dr Ian Levy said: ‘We understand that online security can feel daunting to a lot of people.

‘Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided – nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favourite band.

‘Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words. Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.’

Most common passwords globally

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. qwerty
  4. password
  5. 1111111

How to protect yourself online

  • Keep your details secure

Never share login details for your banking or other secure sites with anyone else, whether in person, on the telephone or online.

Watch out for phishing emails that include links to fake login pages that will steal your details and for phone scams by fraudsters posing as bank workers.

Be aware that no reputable organisation should ever ask you to reveal your full password.

 

  • Create strong passwords

It’s an obvious tip – but one that many ignore.

Strong passwords should contain a mixture of letters, numbers and special characters such as punctuation marks.

Avoid using obvious or guessable information such as family names, former pets or dates of birth – many of which you may have already shared on social media.

 

  • Ensure all your networked devices are protected

The average household has a steadily growing number of networked devices, ranging from baby monitors to smart appliances and networks allowing users to control utilities such as lighting or heating via mobile phones.

It’s vital that all of these are password protected, otherwise they can be hacked and taken over.

 

  • Watch out for dodgy free apps

Some free apps have a sting in the tail as they can be used to download spyware.

A handful of rogue apps will steal passwords and take over accounts. Many more demand extensive personal details such as your contacts list or even access to your phone’s camera.

Avoid downloading generic apps such as emoji keyboard without reading reviews to ensure they are legitimate.

 

  • Use antivirus software and firewalls

Another basic but key tip – ensure that you have antivirus and anti-spyware security in place and up to date at all times.

Choose a reputable programme to scan emails, monitor files, scan your computer and protect you from dangerous downloads

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