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'Worst Internet Passwords' use sries character names | Security

A study published by Mozilla last Thursday (14) found that most passwords breached on the Internet use series characters and sports. According to the survey, more than 370,000 users adopt Friends comedy character names in their security codes. Among sports fans, the number is even greater: more than a million people incorporate sports such as football, baseball, and soccer with passwords.

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The company behind Firefox Monitor has found information available on HaveIBeenPwned (HIBP), a website that analyzes emails and compares them to breached credential databases on the Internet. Searching manually for bad passwords, researchers came across a plethora of pop-culture related codes and American sitcoms like Friends and Seinfield.

Characters from sitcoms like Friends inspire passwords and pose online security risks. Photo: Disclosure / WarnerMediaCharacters from sitcoms like Friends inspire passwords and pose online security risks. Photo: Disclosure / WarnerMedia

Characters from sitcoms like Friends inspire passwords and pose online security risks. Photo: Disclosure / WarnerMedia

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The George character from the comedy series Seinfeld (Jason Alexander) has been used as a password by over 230,000 users. Among the fans of sitcom Friends, in turn, the most beloved protagonist Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), whose name appears on more than 130,000 passwords. According to the researchers, the data is worrying, since both codes are simple, few characters and easy to guess.

Fans use comedy series characters as passwords for services like e-mail and social networks Photo: Divulgao / MozillaFans use comedy series characters as passwords for services like e-mail and social networks Photo: Divulgao / Mozilla

Fans use comedy series characters as passwords for services like e-mail and social networks Photo: Divulgao / Mozilla

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The situation is repeated among sports fans: football, baseball, soccer, basketball and hockey are just some of the modalities used as credentials for access to services such as e-mails, e-commerce sites and social networks. "These bad passwords are not only weak, they have also been breached," the report explains.

Researchers believe that those who use such weak codes also tend to reuse them in more than one service. The danger of this practice is that if hackers have access to a site's credentials, all other addresses with the same login and password can be hacked from the discovered combination.

Using sports as a password compromises the security of the code, says study Photo: Divulgao / MozillaUsing sports as a password compromises the security of the code, says study Photo: Divulgao / Mozilla

Using sports as a password compromises the security of the code, says study Photo: Divulgao / Mozilla

What to do not to be a victim of leaks?

Firstly, it is important not to repeat the same password on different websites, which avoids scams of credential stuffing. To ensure information security, Mozilla also recommends using password managers, programs that use encryption to protect codes. Last but not least, it gives preference to long passwords, which are longer than nine or ten characters, and which combine upper and lower case letters, numbers and special symbols. If you are having difficulty creating the combination, try using online generators.

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