123456 is the most popular password, according to NordPass research from 2021. In addition, it is the first password in 43 countries out of the 50 analyzed and it is also the most popular worldwide.
This year, research published by NordPass features not only the top 200 passwords globally, but also covers the top 200 passwords from 50 different countries. Readers can also explore the most common passwords between the different genders in all the countries investigated.
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These are the 20 most common passwords worldwide:
Trends and differences between countries and genders.
In general, similar trends were observed around the world.
1. Easy number combinations, like the winning “123456”, are popular all over the world. In fact, “123456” was the most popular password in 43 countries out of the 50 analyzed. The main passwords in the remaining seven countries were not so different: in India, the main password was the word “password”, Indonesia – “12345”, Japan – “password”, Portugal – “12345”, Spain – “12345”, Thailand – “12345”, Ukraine – “qwerty”.
2. “Qwerty” and its variations or localized versions of “qwerty” (for example, “azerty” in French-speaking countries) are also popular in all countries analyzed.
3. People use loving words everywhere, such as “iloveyou” and its localized versions (“ichliebedich”, “tequiero”, etc.), as well as “sunshine” or “soleil”, which means “sun” in French, “princess” or “corazon”, which means “heart” in Spanish and is often used in
direct direction as a term of endearment.
4. This research also shows that people tend to use their own names as passwords, with female names dominating mostly female lists and male names dominating men.
5. Entertainment and popular culture also play an important role in people’s passwords. The passwords “naruto”, “pokemon”, “kalleanka” (Donald Duck in Swedish) are just some of the cartoon characters listed. When it comes to music, various bands and
Artists also made the list, including “blink-182” and “eminem.” Interestingly, “metallica” and “slipknot” were quite popular passwords among men and appeared on men’s lists in various countries. They were not so popular with women, who were inclined to different types of music.
styles and use “justinbieber”, “onedirection” and “tokiohotel” as passwords more frequently.
6. Sports, especially soccer, were perhaps the most dominant on the charts. In almost all countries, people often use local soccer teams as passwords. For example, “colocolo” in Chile, “national” in Brazil, “sparta” in the Czech Republic, “marseille” in France, “schalke04” in Germany, “olympiakos” in Greece and many more. The UK password list contained almost every Premier League team, with “liverpool” and “arsenal” leading the way. It’s also worth noting that soccer-related passwords were more common among men.
Passwords are getting weaker
NordPass research also illustrates how weak core passwords are by indicating how long it would take for a hacker to crack that password. While the “Time to crack” measure is indicative and dependent on various technological aspects, it is a good benchmark that shows how poor these passwords are.
Overall, in the global list, 169 of the 200 passwords can be cracked in less than a second. That’s 84.5%, whereas last year passwords seemed a bit stronger – 73% of passwords could be cracked in less than a second.
“Unfortunately, passwords are getting weaker and weaker and people are still not maintaining proper password hygiene,” says Jonas Karklys, CEO of NordPass. “It is important to understand that passwords are the gateway to our digital life and as we spend more and more time online, it is very important to take better care of our cybersecurity.”
“The purpose of this research is to show that poor passwords are still a big problem around the world, but there are some simple steps you can take to prevent your password from being listed next year,” Jonas Karklys, CEO, NordPass .
Did you find your password on the “most popular” list?
Jonas Karklys, CEO of NordPass, advises taking a few simple steps to improve your password hygiene.
1. If you found your password in the list, be sure to change it to a unique and secure one. Ideally, use an online password generator or in your password manager app to create a truly complex password.
2. Save your passwords in a password manager. Today, the average person has around 100 accounts, so it would be impossible to remember all the passwords if they really are unique and complex. Password managers are a great solution for that, but be sure to
Use a trusted, trustworthy, and ideally third-party audited vendor.
3. Use multi-factor authentication. Whether it’s biometric authentication, a phone message, or a physical key, it’s always a good idea to add an extra layer of security on top of your password.
The list of passwords was compiled in partnership with independent investigators specializing in investigating cybersecurity incidents. They evaluated a database the size of 4 TB. The researchers classified the data into several verticals, allowing them to perform a
statistical analysis based on countries and gender.
Regarding the gender vertical, the data investigated were classified by gender only if they included a gender key. If the breached data did not contain the data key, it was classified as “unknown”.