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article imageIt’s Groundhog Day for password security

By Tim Sandle     Feb 7, 2021 in Technology
How secure is your password? The chances are, if you are an ‘average’ member of the population, the answer is ‘not very’. A new report examines the typical passwords used and their relative weaknesses.
For many analysts, the re-use of the same passwords is a sign of madness or something resembling the theme in the 1993 film Groundhog Day, which is a tale of repeating things over and over. The world of Information Technology the same applies to the continued use of a password and with the repeated use of weak passwords, which tend to be used and reused by some people year after year.
These themes are brought out in a new report titled “Groundhog Day List of the 20 Most Common Passwords of 2020”, which comes from ID Agent.
The report finds, that in 2020 alone, more than 81 percent of reported data breaches were due to poor password security. To highlight the vulnerability and subsequent misuse of data, the report notes how hackers dropped more than 22 million records on the Dark Web. With such data, it is of concern that data breaches, especially those involving ransomware, climbed steadily throughout the chaotic landscape of 2020.
It is clear that both of these trends signal the need for a password security reset.
The list comes from a scan of nearly 3 million passwords found on the Dark Web in 2020 and breaks down the most commonly used types of passwords by category, including names, sports references, famous people, or characters, and more.
Most people will choose passwords that can be divided into 24 common combinations:
Name: First or Common Name
Word: General work – Dictionary
Key Walk: Keystroke pattern – easy to remember
Sports: Sport, Sports Team, League
Place: Easily identifiable City, State, Country, Place
Character: Fictional Character
Food: Food type, ingredient
Uncategorized: Automated/ Randomly Generated
Clever: Unique/ Clever
Password: Variation of the word “Password”
Transportation: Automobile, Transportation
Religious: Religious Affiliation, Meaning or Person
Website: Email Address or Common URL
Love: Association with the emotion/ feeling
Naughty: Association with controversial often vulgar terms
Band: Popular Music of all genres
Season: Weather/ Season related
Color: Common Colors
Greeting: Common and Localized Greetings
Month: Calendar Months
Military: Association with military, war, weaponry
Horoscope: Astrological Signs
Alphabet Walk: Sequential pattern (alphanumeric & non alphanumeric)
Based on the new analysis, some of the most common 250 passwords found are:
Names: maggie
Sports: baseball
Food: cookie
Places: Newyork
Animals: lemonfish
Famous People/Characters: Tigger
In addition, for good password security it is important to avoid using passwords that are same as username or passwords that contain personal information as password (such as name, city, birthday, family member names and so on).
More about Password, Biometrics, Cybersecurity
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