When it comes to creating a password, many of us focus on devising a combination of letters, numbers and symbols that we will always be able to remember. According to technology expert Burton Kelso, it is human nature to fall into a predictable routine of creating passwords. “We tend to create passwords based on things familiar to us such as common words, names and locations,” he explains. “Then we try to make things complicated for a hacker by adding a capital letter, a number, or a special character.” However, unless we come up with unpredictable passwords, we are giving hackers an easy way to break into our accounts.
But, as they say, knowledge is power. To stay safe online on your phone or other devices, you need to know a few secrets that hackers don’t want you to know—including the fact that they’ll first try these common methods and passwords in order to get their hands on your personal information.
They start off with a password list
Kelso explains that there are several websites that offer “popular password” lists. While the intention of most of them is to encourage people to shy away from the most commonly used passwords, they are a great starting point for hackers. Mark Burnett, a security consultant and researcher, recently published 10 million passwords on his website Xato, in order to provide a better understanding of how people formulate passwords. However, it also gives hackers a really good place to start.
Sequential number combinations
The trend of using number combinations has continued, according to a list of the top 200 most common passwords of 2020 released by NordPass. Many of the top 10 passwords – a whopping seven, in fact – included simple number combinations of 1 through 10 with seven of the top 10 being number combinations.