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How easily hackable are you?

With most modern-day activities occurring online today — whether it’s banking, shopping, social media and more — most of us enter passwords on a daily basis for a variety of accounts.

Cybersecurity firm Lookout reported that on average, 80% of consumers have had their email leaked on the dark web at some point.

The firm released its list of the Top 10 most common passwords found on the dark web:

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • qwerty
  • password
  • 12345
  • 12345678
  • 111111
  • 1234567
  • 123123
  • qwerty123

If any passwords on this list look familiar to you, unfortunately, your accounts remain some of the easiest for cybercriminals to hack.

Digital security company Norton says more than 2 out of 3 people recycle the same few passwords across multiple accounts online. 

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nonprofit established to support victims of identity crimes, released its Annual Data Breach Report for 2021.

According to the report, there were 1,862 data breaches in 2021, marking a record high 68% increase in breaches from 2020. The report finds 2021’s data breaches marked a 23% increase from the previous all-time high for a single year set in 2017 with 1,506 breaches.

“In 2021, we saw a shift in the identity crime space,” said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “Too many people found themselves in between criminals and organizations that hold consumer information. We may look back at 2021 as the year when we moved from the era of identity theft to identity fraud. The number of breaches in 2021 was alarming. Many of the cyberattacks committed were highly sophisticated and complex, requiring aggressive defenses to prevent them. If those defenses failed, too often we saw an inadequate level of transparency for consumers to protect themselves from identity fraud.”

The study finds there were more cyber attack-related compromises in 2021 (1,603) than all total data compromises in 2020 (1,108).

“There is no reason to believe the level of data compromises will suddenly decline in 2022,” experts say. “As organizations of all sizes struggle to defend the data they hold, it is essential that everyone practice good cyber-hygiene to protect themselves and their loved ones from these crimes.”

To make sure your online accounts stay safe and unhackable, digital security company Norton offers these tips for creating the strongest password:

  • No personal information: Don’t include references to personal information such as names, birthdays, addresses, or phone numbers.
  • Combine letters, numbers, and symbols: A variety of random characters, numbers and letters make the password more complex.
  • Consider password length: At least 16 characters should be used to lessen the chances of falling victim to a data breach or cyberattack. 
  • No repeat passwords: Reusing a password for different accounts makes you vulnerable to credential stuffing attacks frequently used by cybercriminals.
  • Don’t use real words: Hackers use malicious programs that can process every word found in a dictionary to crack passwords. Don’t use proper nouns or other standalone dictionary words.