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A shocking number of passwords can be hacked in a minute and yours could be one of them

A shocking number of passwords can be hacked in a minute and yours could be one of them

Hackers could guess nearly half of them in just 60 seconds.

Creating a password can be a hassle. You need it to be random but not so random that you'll forget it.

Sometimes, it feels easier to use the same password for everything. But this could put you at serious risk of hacking - especially if it's easy to crack.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky analysed 193 million passwords and found that 45% of passwords could be guessed by scammers within a minute.

That's right, a mere 60 seconds to get access to your data.

And another 14% could be cracked within the hour, which is still a large majority of passwords.

Only 4% took from one month to a year to break and 23% took more than a year to hack. The latter are considered to be hacker-resistant.

Chainarong Prasertthai/Getty
Chainarong Prasertthai/Getty

In 2023, cybercriminals made more than 32 million attempts to identify personal passwords.

With that number growing, it could only be a matter of time until your account is at risk.

So what makes a password easy to guess and how can we make sure they are secure in the future?

Alongside the most obvious culprits, like ‘password’ and ‘123456’, the majority of passwords examined contained a word from the dictionary, which reduces the password’s overall strength.

Another common mistake is using easily identifiable names, such as ‘Ahmed’, ‘Nguyen’, ‘Kumar’, ‘Kevin’ and ‘Daniel’.

Many people tend to choose passwords based on things relevant to their life such as pet names, family members and birthdays - all of which make them easier to crack.

The cybersecurity team pointed out that the most popular words used in passwords include ‘forever’, ‘love’, ‘google’, ‘hacker’ and ‘gamer’.


Other standard - and very obvious - passwords involved ‘password’, ‘qwerty12345’, ‘admin’, ‘12345’ and ‘team’.

Yuliya Novikova, Kaspersky’s head of digital footprint intelligence, said: ‘Unconsciously, human beings create “human” passwords – containing the words from the dictionary in their native languages, featuring names and numbers etc.

‘Even seemingly strong combinations are rarely completely random, so they can be guessed by algorithms.'

The best solution is to use password managers to generate completely random passwords and store them in a secure place.

‘Such apps can securely store large volumes of data, providing comprehensive and robust protection for user information,' she added.

Furthermore, adding numbers or a couple of capital letters and symbols such as £,$,@, or ! will help make passwords much harder to guess.

The more random, the better.

As an extra step of security, users should enable two-factor authentication which requires two forms of identification to access an account.

Featured Image Credit: Chainarong Prasertthai/d3sign/Getty