Technology

SA’s most common passwords revealed – and you might need to change yours

Password management service NordPass released its annual list of the top 200 most common passwords in the world in 2021. The list detailed how often a certain password was used and how long it would take to crack it.

MOST USED CODEWORDS IN 2021

South Africa is one of the 50 countries represented in the research, which was compiled by independent researchers specialising in cyber security incidents.

According to the data, South Africa is one of the 12 low risk countries in terms of passwords leaked per capita.

In 2021, just over 22 million passwords were leaked, accounting for 0.37 per capita.

Some of the trends picked out by researchers is that, as expected, many people use their own names to safeguard accounts.

One Direction is rising in popularity again – the boy band disappeared from the 2020 list but is present as one of the most common codes in several countries in 2021.

Evidently, Liverpool is the most popular sports team in the world. The Merseyside Premier League outfit features prominently in the lists for several countries and is the 16th most common password in South Africa.

One of the hyperlocal standouts in the list is ‘bokkie’, which was the 34th most common word in South Africa. Isn’t that sweet?

PASSWORD BASICS

If it can happen to Transnet, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) and the Department of Justice, it can happen to you. NordPass offered the following cyber security basics to ensure your accounts and data remain under lock and key.

  • Use complex passwords – one that contains at least 12 characters and a varied combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Do not reuse words. Never ever. If a hacker figures out one of your passwords, it places all your accounts in jeopardy.
  • Update your account regularly – every three months is recommended.
  • Regularly check your password strength.

TOP 20 MOST COMMON PASSWORDS IN SA

RANK PASSWORD TIME TO CRACK COUNT
1 123456 < 1 second 108 893
2 password < 1 second 38 797
3 12345 < 1 second 27 514
4 123456789 < 1 second 20 312
5 Password1 < 1 second 17 199
6 qwerty < 1 second 12 982
7 12345678 < 1 second 11 167
8 1234567890 < 1 second 7330
9 1234 < 1 second 6839
10 chregan 17 minutes 6002
11 monkey < 1 second 5598
12 P@ssw0rd < 1 second 5548
13 dragon < 1 second 5155
14 Password123 < 1 second 5105
15 1234567 < 1 second 4779
16 liverpool < 1 second 4623
17 michael 8 seconds 4539
18 michelle < 1 second 4262
19 Passw0rd 6 seconds 4154
20 joshua 3 hours 3909

Honourable mentions: lerato (28), capetown (29), bokkie (34), chelsea (44), sharks (73), stormers (89), arsenal (99), monster (200).

For the full list visit https://nordpass.com/most-common-passwords-list/

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