Password Compromises in Various Countries

By Jayden Andrews. April 21, 2020

There has been an increased rate of cybercrimes across the world. This has left many individuals in fear of privacy intrusion. Legions of individuals use easily guessable or easy-to-hack passwords, and this has been the primary cause of the increased security breach cases.

Even worse, some people reuse a single password for multiple sites and services. This means that if one of the services is compromised or leaks information, all the other sites are at risk, and hackers can access the other accounts with ease.

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Global rank of compromised passwords usage

We have prepared a rank of countries where citizens use unsafe and easy to compromise passwords most frequently. You know, passwords such as 123, qwerty, zxcvb, 09876, and many other combinations are so attractive for hackers.

On average, people around the world use the two most unsafe passwords for their internet services, such as email, login details, to mention a few.
Some countries have recorded high results. For instance, Luxemburg is an absolute leader around the world, with its 31 unsecured passwords per citizen. Just take a look at them.

#1 Luxembourg

Cybersecurity cases remain a significant concern in Luxembourg, but they are already looking for ways to curb this issue. The release of Smile, a state-backed outfit, will significantly help in identifying threats. This way, people will be in a better position to take the necessary steps before things get out of hand.

Most of these cyberattack cases are financial crimes, something that has left people in situations involving significant losses.

Unsafe passwords per user: 31,5

#2 Gibraltar

2019 saw this country report one of the highest cases of cybercrimes and bank transfer scams. The cyberattacks in Gibraltar come from a long way. Like in 2018, the government website was hacked by unknown cybercriminals. The government website is one of the strongest with hard-to-guess passwords, but the criminals managed to get in.

Imagine what they would do to consumer sites, especially considering that a lot of people do not change their passwords. Citizens were then urged to change their passwords and avoid reusing them for different accounts.

#3 New Zealand

Research has shown that about 40% of password managers in New Zealand are vulnerable to hacking. Cyber threats are on the rise, and internet users are urged to use unique and complex passwords to protect themselves. While password managers are helpful as they save you from the need to remember dozens of passwords, they may put users in severe issues due to malicious attacks. The password managers store the passwords in their networks, and this means that if hackers get into these networks, then they can access all the users’ passwords.
With so many data breaches emanating from compromised passwords, the use of weak and easily-guessable passwords is the entry point for hackers. Some of the easy-to-guess passwords have names such as Liverpool, Daniel, 66666, 55555, 1234, abc1234, and other choices given by sites and services once you sign up. People should change these passwords and use random and complex words that cybercriminals can hardly think of.

Unsafe passwords per user: 9,6

#4 The United Kingdom

The number of cybercrime cases due to compromised passwords in the UK has been on the rise for the past years. The citizens are urged to change weak and reused passwords, as a survey showed that millions of them do not change passwords or they reuse one password for multiple sites.

There are newly reported cases of data breach every week, and the damages incurred are devastating. The estimated cost of data breaches due to compromised passwords is currently at £2.7 million. Boots, a high-street pharmacy, reported huge losses after password compromise, which put its customer accounts at risk.

Unsafe passwords per user: 9,1

#5 Switzerland

Swisscom suffered a significant blow as a result of a data breach. This incident exposed personal details of about 800,000 customers; something that they said would take a while before full recovery. This number, which mostly comprised of mobile customers, makes about 10% of the entire Switzerland population, and you can, therefore, tell that cybercrime was a significant blow to both the company and the country at large. The hackers got access to the customers’ names, dates of birth, addresses, and phone numbers.

Although the company assured its customers that the stolen information would not do any significant harm, it provides hackers with a wealth of information and opportunities to do worse things such as identity theft.

Unsafe passwords per user: 7,9

#6 The United States

We are barely halfway in 2019 and hackers have already accessed nearly 8 billion consumer records. Experts suggest that about 8.5 billion accounts might be hacked before the end of the year, especially if people fail to change their passwords. Most of the hacks may be done on mega accounts.

Unsafe passwords per user: 7,8

#7 China

Initially, when one talked about cybercrime, the focus was mostly on the hacking of stored data in the US and other countries from the west. Things have changed for the worse, and there have been several reported cases on the compromise of personal data in China. Online fraud has been on the rise in the country as hackers sell people’s information for personal gain.

Most cybercrime cases in China revolve around theft of mobile SIM card data through messages. Many people have already fallen victim to this.

Unsafe passwords per user: 7

#9 Ireland

Most of the cybercrime cases in Ireland revolve around loss of money. Studies have also shown that about two people in every five persons do not change their passwords after signing up on a site. They are the most vulnerable to getting hacked. Most of their passwords are 12345678 or any other easily guessable digits and letters, and this gives hackers a chance to penetrate their accounts. Most of the Irish people claim that the leading cause of lack of security seriousness over passwords is because they find the online measures to be quite annoying.

They find the Captcha image, for example, to be frustrating. Some get annoyed when the passcodes are sent to their texts and emails, which they think is an annoying process.

Unsafe passwords per user: 5,9

Privacy and Security tips

Other than changing passwords, internet users can protect themselves from cybercrimes and password compromise in a range of ways, some of which include:

Use of password manager

One of the reasons why people choose to use the same password for different platforms is to avoid forgetting it. You cannot easily remember a ton of passwords, but a password manager can make things easier for you. Once it saves the password, you do not have to enter your password every time you want to log in to a site.

Use of VPN

Using a VPN is the most effective way to keep hackers at bay. It protects your personal data through encryption, and with this, nobody can see what you are doing. However, ensure that you go for a reliable VPN option like NordVPN or Surfshark. These two options have proven to offer maximum protection against hackers and intruders.

Use Antivirus

Another reason for experiencing cyberattacks could probably be that you opened an unsecured site. Such sites open doors for hackers, something that you can prevent simply by installing antivirus software.

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