Password management company NordPass has urged the general public not to include people’s names in their passwords.
Research released by the company found thousands of netizens worldwide are opting to protect their sensitive information with a password that includes a name.
According to NordPass, the name that cropped up most frequently in passwords is “Ashley.” The company discovered that the gender-neutral moniker was used 94,557 times to protect sensitive data.
The second most common name, used 78,914 times, was the similarly gender-neutral “Charlie.” The third and fourth most popularly used names, employed 71,035 times and 64,992 times respectively, were Michael and Nicole.
Passwords based around names are easier for cyber-criminals to crack as the combination of characters is more predictable.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, “most people use passwords that are based on personal information and are easy to remember. However, that also makes it easier for an attacker to crack them.”
“People also shouldn’t use any other obvious choices, such as their address, favorite band, sports team, pet’s name, the word ‘password,’ and any alternations of it.”