If you're guilty of using the same one or two passwords for the past decade, consider this your reminder to update them. Digital passwords have been around since the early adoption of computers in the 1960's, however the importance of updating your passwords has never been more crucial than now.

With fraud and scams on the rise it's time to upgrade your password from your pet, children or date of birth to something a little stronger and sophisticated.

According to NordPass, 'old habits die hard' and many people are still using weak passwords, despite a growing awareness around cybersecurity. While the below passwords probably won't be of any surprise to you, what is shocking is 8 of the 10 were cracked by hackers in less than 1 second. The other two took less than 11 seconds.

Below are the top 10 most common passwords of 2022 globally:

  • password
  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • guest
  • qwerty
  • 12345678
  • 111111
  • 12345
  • col123456
  • 123123

The research conducted by NordPass also allows us to narrow down popular passwords by country. While Australia displayed many of the same common passwords listed above, below are a few honorable mentions, all falling within our top 20:

  • samanthas
  • work
  • charlie
  • amour
  • holden
  • mine
  • abc123
  • password1
  • soleil

If any of the above are ringing a bit too close to home for you, here are a few tips to creating a strong password.

  • Create a password with a minimum of 12 characters.
  • Aim for a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters, symbols and numbers throughout the password, not just at the front and end.
  • Do not use any easy to guess information in your passwords such as a pet name, children's name or birth dates.
  • Do not use the same password twice. No matter how tempting this is, if your password is compromised and you've used it across multiple logins, it will allow hackers to access your personal information through other accounts much easier.
  • Download a password management tool. It's a secure way to store your account logins and means you won't have to memorise all those passwords you've just created!

Two-factor authentication

While a strong password will help prevent access to your account, two-factor authentication is an additional layer of security that will give you more protection than just a password alone. In fact, according to Microsoft, multi-factor authentication can "prevent 99.9 percent of attacks on your accounts".

It's likely you're already using two-factor authentication to conduct transactions or to make changes to manage your online applications such as your online banking.

The first factor is generally a pin or password to log in, and the second is either biometrics (fingerprint, face or retina recognition) or a code sent to you via SMS or email.

For example, if a cybercriminal happens to gain access to one proof of identity, such as your password, they would not be able to gain access to your account without the second form of identity (such as face recognition).

Download a password management tool.

With all your new strong passwords, you will need a secure place to store them – and we're not talking about a notebook in your kitchen drawer.

A password management tool is a secure way to store your account logins and means you won't have to memorise all your passwords. There are a lot of great password management tools available to download, so you may just need to find the one that works for you.

Along with securely storing all your passwords, a management tool can often generate long complex passwords so you don't need to worry about coming up with something unique.

When it comes time to access your password, simply log into your password manager and you will be able to find all your login details organised and stored securely.


Auswide Bank Ltd AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 239686. This information provides general advice only. We do not provide advice based on any consideration of your personal objectives, needs or circumstances.

Published: Thursday, 27 Apr 2023