As part of the campaign, Nottinghamshire Police’s Cyber Protect team are reminding people not to use the same password for more than one account, as doing so puts the individual at risk of numerous accounts being hacked, should a cyber criminal crack that password.
In order to make it harder for hackers to crack your passwords, the team are encouraging people to choose new passwords comprising #ThreeRandomWords that you just put together, like 'coffeetrainfish' or ‘walltinshirt’.
The advice comes after the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) conducted its first cyber-survey, which analysed public databases of breached accounts to see which words, phrases and strings people used.
Top of the list was 123456, appearing in more than 23 million passwords.
The second-most popular string, 123456789, was not much harder to crack, while others in the top five included ‘qwerty’, ‘password’ and ‘1111111’.
The most common name to be used in passwords was Ashley, followed by Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie.
When it came to Premier League football teams, Liverpool and Chelsea were top of the league, while Blink-182 topped the charts of music acts.
PC Nick Stenner, one of the force’s cyber protect officers, said: “Nobody should use well known words or phrases for a password as they are putting their account at risk of being hacked.
"You should not protect sensitive data with passwords that can be easily guessed.”
“Hacked social media accounts are on the rise and accounts that have been active for years and/or have lots of followers or friends are valuable to criminals to use for all sorts of scams.
“We advise people to use a password manager application to keep a record of their passwords in a secure way, as well as turn on two-step verification for any email accounts and for any other online accounts that allow it.
For more advice, click here.