Bad news for those who have pop culture passwords: You’re not alone.
In the first UK cyber survey conducted by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the Department for Digital, Media, and Sport (DCMS), a staggering number of online users were found to look to musicians and fictional characters as their means of security.
Among the top musician-inspired passwords are Blink-182 (285,706), 50 Cent (191,153), Eminem (167,983), Metallica (140,841), and Slipknot (140,833), while Superman (333,139), Naruto (242,749), Tigger (237,290), Pokemon (226,947), and Batman (203,116) lead the fictional front.
Again, this is strictly a UK study, but even so, if any of those names ring a bell (it’s okay, you don’t have to tell anyone) you might want to change those ASAP. Though, if you’re like this writer, you likely don’t even remember your stored passwords — also not good.
“Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided,” Dr Ian Levy, NCSC Technical Director explained. “Nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favorite band.”
“Using hard-to-guess passwords is a strong first step and we recommend combining three random but memorable words,” he added. “Be creative and use words memorable to you, so people can’t guess your password.”
No kidding. According to the report, “42% of Brits expect to lose money to online fraud,” and one can only imagine that extends overseas, which is why it’s imperative that you heed their warning — or, at the very least, find a more obscure act or hero to co-opt.
Consult the full list of passwords here and act accordingly.