The Most Common Passwords in the World: What to do if yours is on the list

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash

Do you use any of these extremely popular – and eminently hackable – passwords? If so, Philip Muncaster from our security partner, ESET, has a New Year’s resolution for you!

Security experts have been predicting the death of the password for well over a decade. But it’s still the main way we log-in to our online accounts and mobile applications. Why? Because we all know exactly how to use them. And many of us are reluctant to learn new ways. It may be time we did, because the truth is we don’t all know how to use passwords securely.

NordPass’s list of the top 200 most common world-wide passwords of 2022 tells us all we need to know. Passwords are a huge security risk. If yours is on the list, change it immediately. Even better, change the way you manage all of your log-ins. Waiting until it’s too late could cost you a lot of extra time, money and stress.

Why passwords matter

Our log-ins represent the keys to our digital lives – which today could be anything from our streaming services, online banking, and messaging, to ride hailing accounts and social media. Often we have card details and personal data stored in these accounts. That’s why they’re so popular on the cybercrime underground. One report from June revealed 24 billion usernames and password combinations circulating in online criminal marketplaces – a 65% increase on 2020 figures and nearly four for every person on the planet.

Criminals use a variety of techniques to get hold of passwords including:

Once inside your account, hackers can steal any personal and card data stored therein. Or use it themselves in payment card and other fraud. The value of fraudulent payment card transactions in 2021 exceeded £26bn, and is predicted to rise to £31bn by 2027.

Most hackable passwords

Unfortunately, many internet users are making life easier for the bad guys. According to a 3TB database of passwords spilled in security incidents, the most popular across 30 countries was “password,” with nearly five million hits. Second came “123456” followed by the slightly longer “123456789.” Rounding out the top five were “guest” and “qwerty.” Most of those log-ins can be cracked in less than a second.

You can browse through the whole list on NordPass’s website, but here are the 20 that topped the list this year.


The world’s 20 most common passwords in 2022 (source: NordPass)

Aside from these most basic of passwords, researchers see similar patterns emerging every year. Particular all-time favorites include:

Even worse: if we reuse these passwords, write them down in plain sight or share them with others, it will make life even easier for would-be hackers and fraudsters. And if we use the same passwords at work as in our personal lives, we might even be exposing our employer to possible cyber-risk. That might have even more serious repercussions if hackers are able to steal corporate data as a result.

How to get password security right

Fortunately, password security is one of the easiest things we can get right – with some instant benefits for our digital lives. Consider the following tips to help protect your personal and financial information:

You might have many New Year’s resolutions heading into 2023 but if your own passwords appear on the list above, improving your password security will be one of the most important of them.

If you have any questions or would like support on any of the above, do not hesitate to give our VCI Support Consultants a call on 0118 9767111.

Phil Muncaster

Original Article: The world’s most common passwords: What to do if yours is on the list | WeLiveSecurity