Individuals are known for not always taking passwords and cyber security seriously. Whether for their own email passwords or business practice, it is well known that as cyber criminals are getting more resourceful, we need to be more innovative. A survey in 2019 highlighted how many gaps there were in individuals’ personal security knowledge. So, we know that cyber criminals have become more intelligent in 2022, have we?

What did the 2019 survey reveal about cyber security?

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In 2019, a poll went out on behalf of the National Cyber Security Centre. The idea behind it was to inform the Government and other organisations about how much work was needed to help businesses become more secure and efficient. In addition, it helped security experts to realise how much advice and guidance was required to help keep the UK’s companies safe.

The results and statistics were eye-opening as they were published in full on

  • Interesting statistics revealed that only 15% of businesses said they knew a great deal about how to protect themselves from harmful activity.
  • Instead of data breaches, many businesses revealed that they were more concerned about money being stolen by hackers. 42% said this was likely to have occurred by the time we reached 2021.
  • Despite having limited knowledge of how to stay safe online, 89% use the internet to make online purchases.
  • 33% of business owners and individuals rely on friends and family to help them stay safe and secure.

Here are the two significant stats which caught our eye from the 2019 report:

  • 70% always use PINs and passwords for smartphones and tablets
  • Less than half do not always use a strong, separate password for their primary email account

So how much has changed concerning hacked passwords in 2022?

laptop with magnet pulling password from red screenThroughout the covid pandemic (our only mention of it, we promise), cyber crime increased by over 600%. So perhaps now more than ever, you need to have an incredibly secure password. A lot of websites and browsers, as well as subscription services, have tried to help as much as they can. There are some cases where users can not set up any accounts until they follow the ‘password rules. These are dependent on the website, but the majority are the same. Passwords should be complicated to guess. They shouldn’t be personal to you and should have characters, capital letters, and numbers. This isn’t anything new, but websites and subscription services are clamping down on those who have easy-to-guess passwords.

What are the most common passwords that are hacked? 

The most common passwords that are hacked are personal to you. For example, pet names, birthdays (yes, people still use these), and sometimes even own names are common passwords. You can find a list of the common passwords people use (and which are likely to be hacked) in the latest CyberNews article here.

Most Used Passwords Names Sports Teams Cities Food
123456 eva (7,169,177) suns (1,179,671) abu (2,347,948) ice (5,979,306)
123456789 alex (7,117,656) heat (909,558) rome (1,027,342) tea (3,220,773)
qwerty anna (6,512,390) reds (686,716) lima (702,845) pie (2,980,932)
password max (5,670,058) magic (674,597) hong (677,737) nut (2,566,607)
12345 ava (5,250,897) liverpool (631,076) milan (647,321) fish (2,064,192)

How to limit the chances of your password being hacked

keeper logo white backgroundThe good thing is that password management tools can help you choose and set your own passwords. They make them complicated enough to guess (and hard to remember), but thanks to their unique security settings, you don’t need to remember them! So don’t worry if you have started panicking because your password is too close to home, don’t worry. You can read our password manager tool advice and see why a password manager can revolutionise your internet security. If you’re worried about being hacked or money stolen, read our Neuways insights and pass them on to your employees.

Learn more about cyber security

Ultimately, as we mentioned at the start, cyber criminals have become a lot more intelligent. So even if you have the most secure password, you must be vigilant. Thanks to phishing attacks and social engineering, hackers are becoming more subtle in how they gain access to your security.


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While your first act as a business owner should be to get your web development team and employees to change all passwords (it is recommended to change every three months), we also think they would benefit from Managed Security and Phishing Awareness Training. That way, they can have a secure password that isn’t easily guessed; they are also less likely to give it away.


Our last blog was about email spoofing, which coincides with IT security. In some way, cyber security topics are all related to each other. There is so much that Neuways can offer as an IT security consultant. Learn all about what we do by checking out our IT security website.