How passwords differ around the world

The most frequently-used password globally is "123456”. However, analyzing passwords by country can yield some quite fascinating results.

We frequently choose weak passwords such as "123456" since they are easy to remember and input. The differences between such passwords can sometimes be found in the language itself. For example, if the English have "password" at the top of their list, the Germans prefer "passwort", and the French use "azerty" instead of "qwerty" due to the peculiarities of the French keyboard layout, which has the letter A instead of the usual Q.

When a weak password is driven by culture, things get much more intriguing. The password "Juventus" is likely to appeal to fans of the Italian football team Juventus. This password is also the fourth most popular option among Italian Internet users. The club is from Turin, Piedmont, and is supported by about 9 million people. At first look, the unique password "Anathema" appears to be a typical occurrence in Turkey, where the British band Anathema's name is among the top ten most common passwords.

A weak password is widespread

ExpressVPN together with Pollfish interviewed 1,000 customers about their password preferences in order to learn more about how individuals approach password formation.

Here are some of their findings:

•  The typical internet-goer uses the same password for six different websites and/or platforms

•  Relatives are likely to be able to guess their passwords from internet accounts, according to 43% of respondents

•  When generating passwords, two out of every five people utilize different variants of their first and/or last name

These findings demonstrate a lack of cybersecurity knowledge, despite the fact that 81% of respondents feel confident in the security and privacy of their existing passwords.

According to the survey results, passwords frequently contain personal information. Below, you will find the most shared personal information with the percentage of respondents who revealed that their passwords contained personal information.

•  First Name (42.3%)

•  Surname (40%)

•  Middle Name (31.6%)

•  Date of birth (43.9%)

•  Social security number (30.3%)

•  Phone number (32.2%)

•  Pet name (43.8%)

•  Child's name (37.5%)

•  Ex-partner's name (26.1%)

The most common passwords in various countries

Based on an infographic from ExpressVPN, the picture below illustrates the most often used passwords in various nations, practically all of which are in the top ten in their respective countries. Many are exclusive to these nations and demonstrate how cultural influences impact password creation.

Much of the information presented comes from a third-party study of stolen credentials (which were made public by Github user Ata Hakç). These datasets are based on the language of the individual sites, allowing the information to be distributed by country.

Let's have a look at some interesting variations of passwords. For instance, the phrase "I love you forever" may be deciphered from the password "5201314," which is commonly used by people from Hong Kong. In contrast, users in Croatia make use of the password “Dinamo”, which is derived from the name of an illustrious football team based in Zagreb. Martin is the password that is used by people from Slovakia. In Slovakia, the name Martin has a position as the fourth most common name. The Greeks, on the other hand, chose not to put undue effort into themselves and instead went with the most straightforward password out of the list, which was 212121. On the other hand, Ukrainians use the pretty difficult password Pov1mLy727. Apart from Ukraine, there are other countries where users more often than not create strong passwords. Let’s take a look.

These 10 countries create the strongest passwords

According to the results of the National Privacy Test that was carried out by NordVPN, the greatest marks were obtained by Italians in regard to their understanding of robust passwords. The following is a list of the top ten nations in which people come up with the most complicated passwords.

1. Italy 94.3 (points out of 100)

2. Switzerland 94

3. Spain 93.5

4. Germany 93.3

5. France 92.3

6. Denmark 91.8

7. UK 90.7

8. Belgium 90.4

9. Canada 89.4

10. USA 89.3

The top 10 did not include Australia (88.9), South Africa (86.2), Saudi Arabia (85.7), Russia (81.4), Brazil (81.2), Turkey (73.9), and India (78.4).

"This study demonstrates that individuals from all around the world are aware of how to generate secure passwords. The information is there, but people aren't using it in the right ways," says Chad Hammond, a security specialist at NordPass.

Also in November 2022, NordPass published a study that found out which passwords network users use most often. According to the findings of the survey, the majority of individuals still rely on simple passwords such as their own names, the names of their favorite sports teams or foods, simple numerical combinations, and other straightforward options.

NordPass security specialist Chad Hammond also stated, "Using unique passwords is really crucial, and it's scary that so many individuals still don't." It is critical to generate distinct passwords for each account. "We put all accounts with the same password in danger when we reuse passwords: in the case of a data breach, one account at risk can compromise the others."To summarize, it is reasonable to state that it does not matter where you were born, where you live, or what you are passionate about; you must always use unique passwords. We recommend that you make your password difficult to guess by making it more complicated or by using a password generator. This will increase the level of security provided by your password. In addition to this, we strongly suggest that you take advantage of two-factor authentication wherever it is an option. If you add an additional layer of protection to your accounts, be it in the form of an app, biometrics, or a physical security key, you will notice a significant increase in their level of security.