Did you know that the word “password” is the most used password of all time? Using it means a hacker would get access to your stuff in an instant.

According to various sources, the top 10 passwords used last year were:

  • 123456
  • 123456789
  • qwerty
  • 12345678
  • 111111
  • 1234567890
  • 1234567
  • password
  • 123123
  • 987654321

Do you see yours in the list? Using any of these would take a hacker less than a second to crack, leaving you vulnerable to data loss, financial loss and more!


Is your password secure?

There are also other commonly used passwords that you might think would be hard to guess, but if you use your date of birth separated by full stops for instance, it would take a hacker just 13 seconds to crack it!

Here are the things you should avoid when choosing a secure password:

  • Your date of birth
  • Your name
  • Your partner’s name
  • Your pet’s name
  • The name of the street you grew up on
  • Your favourite place to go on holiday
  • Anything to do with your favourite sports team

This list isn’t full either, people use all sorts of personal information in their passwords, purely because it’s easy to remember. Using personal information as your password is dangerous, as hackers can use your social media profiles to work out things like your favourite holiday destination, your dog’s name or your favourite football team.


It's easy to set up a secure password - just use three random words and put them together!

What can I do?

Don’t panic. It is possible to create an easy to remember, secure password very easily. Cyber Aware is a cross-government campaign delivered by the Home Office. They recommend that you create a super-safe password simply by combining three random words. You can always add letters and symbols if you like, but to make things easy, just think of 3 unrelated words and put them together without spaces.

Our example would be:


This quirky password would take a hacker around 35 thousand years to try and crack! If we added a number to the end, it would jump up to a massive 227 million years, and if we added both a number and a symbol it would rise again – to 4 trillion years!

Any other tips?

It’s always a good idea to use a different password for everything that requires one, from your social media to your online banking account. We know, it’s harder to remember different passwords – but it’s much better than handing over everything to a hacker in one go!






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Steph Robinson

By Steph Robinson on 11.10.17

Guest Contributor

5 responses to “How Long Would it Take a Hacker to Crack your Password?”

  1. John Maiden says:

    Why do most places that require your personal details invariably ask for your mother’s maiden name for a security check? Your mother’s maiden name is probably freely accessible through Ancestry or similar sites by your relatives posting publicly their “trees”.
    Personally I use two combined registration numbers I had some 30 odd years ago for my passwords! Mix and match

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