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Top Olympic-themed passwords: “biles”, “tokyo”, “hockey”, and others

August 5, 2021 Business News No Comments

New research by NordPass shows that, despite numerous warnings from cybersecurity experts, people draw inspiration for their passwords from all sorts of things, including the Olympics.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which has captivated the whole world, is also part of people’s cybersecurity.

From the top used sports, “football” takes the lead, with 5,838,986 uses as a password. Then comes “baseball” (used 4,194,823 times), “golf” (3,284,767 times), “hockey” (2,690,778 times), “tennis” (1,546,708 times), and “basketball” (1,413,369 times).

In addition to that, researchers looked into some of the most successful Olympic athletes’ last names and checked whether those are used as passwords, too. Unsurprisingly, they were quite popular: “kenny” — 1,326,538, “williams” — 1,089,270, “asher” — 1,043,744, “riner” — 265,971, “masse” — 261,997, “curry” — 196,165, “gonzales” — 194,129, “osaka” — 87,725, “sindhu” — 84,261, “federer” — 82,897, and “biles” — 57,331.

The word “tokyo” was used as a password 231,818 times, while “olympics” was used 27,881 times.

Why is this a problem? 

“These passwords can be cracked almost instantly — that’s the main issue. While it’s amazing to support your favorite sport or athlete, it’s not advisable to take that support to your passwords, as it really compromises your security. In fact, even if you don’t support, let’s say, Kylie Masse but have the same last name as her, don’t use that as your password, as 261,997 people already have,” says Chad Hammond, security expert at NordPass.

The expert says that it’s a common trend to draw inspiration from current affairs for password creation. “Earlier this year, NordPass reported that such passwords as “corona”, “lockdown”, and other words or phrases that have defined our lives in the past year are also used as passwords quite often. We’ve also noticed that people often simply use their names, favorite sports teams, or the name of the service they’re registering for,” says Chad Hammond.

The security expert advises everyone to take the three following steps to properly secure all their accounts:

1. Update all your passwords and use unique, complicated ones to safeguard your accounts. Employ a password generator to make sure they are impossible to guess.

2. Set up a password manager. It is a great tool for both generating and storing passwords. Advanced password managers like NordPass also have useful features such as Data Breach Scanner, which helps you find out whether any of your accounts have been compromised.

3. Use 2FA if possible. Whether it’s an app, biometric data, or hardware security key, your accounts will be much safer when you add that extra layer of protection.

Methodology: The list of passwords was compiled in partnership with a third-party company specializing in data breach research.

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