When it comes to updating passwords, we are creatures of habit — and change is hard.
But it's 2020 and it may be time to beef up your security game because, according to new research, people are still using easy-to-hack passwords like "123456789," the word "password," and "iloveyou."
Of the 200 worst passwords, "123456" is the most commonly used of 2020, with 2,543,285 people choosing it. It takes less than a second to crack, research from NordPass, a password management company shows.
Despite several reminders from cybersecurity experts, NordPass says that after comparing the list of the most common passwords of 2020 to that of 2019, there is little to no difference — aka we haven't learned much.
The list of passwords was created by a third-party company specializing in data breach research, NordPass said. In total, they looked at a database with 275,699,516 passwords.
New to the top 10 this year is "picture1" and "senha" which means "password" in Portuguese.
The top 10 most common passwords were:
If your password is on the list, it's probably time to make a change.
Try to avoid using dictionary words, predictable number combinations, or strings of adjacent keyboard combinations, NordPass said. And this should go without saying — but under no circumstances should you use a password based on any personal details like your phone number, birth date, or name.
NordPass suggests changing your passwords every 90 days with a mix of upper and lowercase letters, and creating a different password for each of your accounts.
RELATED: Reviewing the best apps for staying in touch with friends and loved ones
Skype (Five stars)
Skype was one of the first video-chat programs, and it’s still one of the easiest and safest to use. Download the app to your smartphone or computer and, once you have a Skype account, you can start a video meeting and invite Skype contacts or share an automatically generated URL via text or e-mail. You can video chat with up to 25 people. Mobile and desktop users can screen-share and record and access subtitles of the conversation. Security is top-notch: Skype notifies participants when a call is being recorded and generates default file names that aren’t easily searchable.
Google Hangouts (Four stars)
If you’re looking for a program that can meet both social and professional needs, consider Google Hangouts. You’ll need a Google account, but you don’t have to be a G Suite customer in order to access group video chats with up to 25 people. During the call, you can toggle among users to choose which person has the largest display at any time. There is also a text feature on screen, so you can type to chat during the call, but there’s no video-recording feature. Download the Hangouts app for iOS or Android (also available at Google Play).
FaceTime (Four stars)
FaceTime, which is included with Apple devices, is a quick and easy way to connect with family and friends, and it supports video chat with up to 32 people. The speaker’s image enlarges automatically during a call, which can help you keep track of who’s talking. The downside: You’ll need an iPhone 6s or newer, or another newer-generation Apple device, to participate in group calls with video. Older devices that support iOS 12.1.4 will join group FaceTime calls as audio participants.
House Party (Four stars)
Zoom (Three stars)
Zoom may come to symbolize the zeitgeist of our shelter-at-home moment. Anyone can sign up for Zoom on its website and download the software to participate in video calls with as many as 100 people. But we gave Zoom fewer stars because the free version has a 40-minute time limit on group calls. And Zoom has had trouble with hackers (known as zoombombers), who have added embarrassing content to group chats. Plus, hosts can record without users’ consent — although the program does notify users when they are being recorded. Thousands of Zoom videos were recently discovered online because saved videos are easily searchable. Encryption is available but must be enabled.