This year the annual research covers 50 different countries, the top passwords among different genders, as well as a global view
According to the 2021 research by NordPass, the most popular password In the UK is 123456. Moreover, it is the top password in 43 countries out of the 50 analyzed, and is also the most popular worldwide.
These are the top 20 most common passwords in the United Kingdom:
This year, the research published by NordPass features not only the top 200 passwords globally but also covers the top 200 passwords of 50 different countries. Readers can also explore the most common passwords among different genders in all the researched countries.
Here is the full research: nordpass.com
Trends and differences among countries and genders
Overall, the UK password list has similar trends to many other countries.
- Liverpool and other Premier League teams are in the lead. “Liverpool” is an incredibly popular password worldwide, however, in the UK it’s the third most popular one. Other Premier League teams, such as “arsenal”, “chelsea”, “everton”, “tottenham” and others are also incredibly popular. The current number 1 team in the Scottish Premiership, “rangers”, is also among the most popular passwords. Interestingly, the United Kingdom is one of the few countries that has the highest number of sports-related passwords in their list. It’s also interesting to note that these sports-related passwords are more common among men than women.
- Easy number combinations, such as the winning “123456”, are popular everywhere in the world. In fact, “123456” was the most popular password in 43 countries out of the 50 analyzed, however, the top passwords in the remaining seven countries were not that different: in India the top password was the word “password”, Indonesia — “12345”, Japan — “password”, Portugal — “12345”, Spain — “12345”, Thailand — “12345”, Ukraine — “qwerty”.
- “Qwerty” and the variations of it, or the localized versions of qwerty (for example, “azerty” in French speaking countries) are also popular in all analyzed countries, including the UK.
- People use loving words everywhere — such as “iloveyou” and its localized versions (“ichliebedich”, “tequiero” and so on). Overall, women tend to use more loving words.
- The only two rude words were found in the men’s list, but not in women’s (43rd list and 196th in the men’s list).
- This research also shows that people tend to use their own names as their passwords, as female names mostly dominate the women’s lists, and male ones dominate men’s. For example, “Olivia”, the most popular female name in the UK in 2020, is the 142nd most popular password in the UK.
Weak passwords — a global problem
The NordPass research also illustrates how weak the top passwords are by indicating the time it would take a hacker to crack that password. While the “Time to crack” measure is indicative, and depends on various technological aspects, it’s a good reference point that shows how poor these passwords are. Overall, in the UK, 132 passwords out of the 200 can be cracked in less than a second. That’s 66%, whereas globally, the percentage is 84.5%.
“Unfortunately,passwords keep getting weaker and people still don’t maintain proper password hygiene,” says Jonas Karklys, CEO of NordPass. “It’s important to understand that passwords are the gateway to our digital lives, and with us spending more and more time online, it’s becoming enormously important to take better care of our cybersecurity.”
Found your password on the “most popular” list?
Jonas Karklys, CEO of NordPass advises taking a few simple steps in order to improve your password hygiene.
- If you found your password on the list, make sure to change it to a unique and strong one. Ideally, use a password generator online or in your password manager app to create a truly complex password.
- Store your passwords in a password manager. Nowadays, an average person has around 100 accounts, so it would be impossible to remember all the passwords if they are indeed unique and complex. Password managers are a great solution for that, but make sure to use a trustworthy, reliable, and, ideally, third-party audited provider.
- Use multi-factor authentication. Whether it’s biometric authentication, a phone message, or physical key, it’s always a good idea to add an extra security layer on top of your password.
Methodology: The list of passwords was compiled in partnership with independent researchers specializing in research of cybersecurity incidents. They evaluated a 4TB-sized database.
Researchers classified the data into various verticals, which allowed them to perform a statistical analysis based on countries and gender.
With regard to the gender vertical, the researched data was classified by gender only if it included a gender key. If the breached data didn’t contain the data key, it was classified as “unknown”.