While the internet has improved many facets of our lives, an unfortunate consequence is that hackers are always looking for new ways to access your accounts and steal your data, or worse, your hard-earned money. One of the many ways they attempt this is by cracking your passwords.

Indeed, you may be surprised to learn how many password issues result in data breaches. A study from the University of Georgia, reported by the cybersecurity company, Asseco, found that a new cyberattack occurs every 44 seconds – roughly 2,000 each day. On top of this, around 80% of all data breaches are caused by passwords.

Even if you haven’t experienced a significant breach in the past and believe it could never happen to you, it may be worth rethinking your online security practices, as you never know when a hacker could finally crack your long-used passwords.

So, continue reading to discover some common password blunders, and some tips and software to help you keep your online presence safe and secure.

You should avoid common passwords, and don’t use your personal information

One of the most significant errors you can make when choosing a password is using personal information. Even though the name of your favourite pet or the street you grew up on might be easy to remember, this also makes it simpler for hackers to force their way into your accounts.

This may be the case if you readily share personal information on social media, such as pictures and information about your pets, address, or old school. After all, it’s not like you’re posting your National Insurance number or credit card details – so what harm could it do?

Hackers can scan social media posts of a particular person to gather information about them, then use that data to lure you into a phishing trap and steal your password. These are called “social engineering attacks”.

You should also avoid common passwords that would be easy to guess. In fact, you may be surprised by how many people use standard passwords.

Research from NordPass, a password manager software, revealed the top 200 most common passwords in 2022, the five most prevalent being:


  1. Password
  2. 123456
  3. 123456789
  4. Guest
  5. Qwerty


The source shows that four of the five passwords listed above would realistically take less than a second for hackers to crack. Only “Guest” would take longer – but only roughly 10 seconds.

You should also avoid using the same password across all your accounts. Of course, this is somewhat understandable if you do so, as you’ll generally have a plethora of different passwords otherwise. So, by using the same one, you’ll easily be able to access your various accounts.

Despite this, if a hacker obtains the password for one of your accounts, there’s a good chance that it will be the first one they try for your others, and could result in a significant data breach.

If you’re now worried about the strength of your password, continue reading to discover some handy tips to help you set a new one.

A “passphrase” could help you remember longer and more secure passwords

When deciding on your new password, you should ideally make it as complex as possible. NordPass suggests choosing one with at least 12 characters, ranging from various upper- and lowercase letters, some numbers, and even symbols.

If you think you’d struggle to remember a password with so many unusual characters, it may be worth changing some of the letters with other symbols. For example, instead of a “B”, you could use an “8”. Or, rather than using an “S”, you could switch this with a “$”.

It may also be prudent to consider using “passphrases”. These are strings of words made from common phrases, such as the lyrics to your favourite song. You can make them even more secure by switching the letters with other symbols, as mentioned above.

These tend to be far easier to remember than arbitrary chains of strange characters, while still being a long password.

You should ideally avoid using particular details or information in your passphrase, such as:

-Your name

-Your address

-Any birthdays and anniversaries

By doing so, you’re making it as difficult as possible for hackers to use social engineering and other forms of attack to guess your password.

There is some technology and software available to help you manage your passwords

As mentioned, it may be wise to have different passwords across each of your online accounts for additional security. If you consider yourself forgetful, there are thankfully some helpful tools designed to take the complexity out of remembering your countless different passwords.

A password manager, for instance, stores your passwords securely so you don’t have to worry about remembering them all. With the help of a password manager, you can generally use incredibly unique and strong passwords, as you don’t need to remember them every time.

Many phones and other devices tend to have in-built password managers these days, though if you’d prefer to use other third-party cloud-based managers, you could try 1Password or Dashlane, for instance.

There are also several different “password strength checkers” available these days. As the name suggests, these tools use various techniques to scan and assess the strength of your passwords. Some may even provide helpful tips to strengthen your existing ones.

Get in touch

While you may be concerned about your passwords, one thing you should never need to worry about is your wealth.

Email us at hello@cordinerwealth.co.uk or call 0113 262 1242 to find out how we can help you manage your money.