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CEOs and other top executives use the same terrible passwords as other people

Facepalm: It’s common knowledge that most people still use comically bad passwords, but surely CEOs, high-level executives, and business owners don’t think the likes of “123456” is the kind of code that will keep their accounts secure? According to a new report, many of them do.

Password manager giant NordPass (download here) with the help of cybersecurity researchers who analyzed over 290 million data breaches worldwide put together a list of passwords used by business executives. These included company CEOs, C-level execs (CTOs, CFOs, etc.), business owners, and management.

It turns out that these high-fliers aren’t so different from the general public: “123456” and “password” were the number one and number two most popular passwords, respectively. That first string was also the most common password among everyday users last year, estimated to have been used over 103 million times.

It also seems that many top executives like to insert names in their passwords, with “Tiffany” (100,534), “Charlie” (33,699), and “Michael” (10,647) the most popular. A report from February showed that names were the second most-hacked category of password.

Execs also like to use animals—real and mythological—in their passwords, with “Dragon” used 11,926 times and “Monkey” in a close second place (11,675). Animals was the third most-hacked category of password.

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Corporate Date breaches happen all the time. According to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 80% of them are the result of weak and easy-to-crack passwords. And hackers getting into high-level executive accounts can spell disaster for a company.

Other leading causes of data breaches are just as avoidable: reusing and sharing passwords, phishing attacks, and human error. They can also be due to a company’s poor cybersecurity infrastructure. NordPass recommends using a password manager, enabling multi-factor authentication, and introducing more staff training to help avoid such incidents.

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h/t: IFL Science

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