Major password warning issued to protect your personal information from hackers

Technology users are being urged to drop the use of traditional passwords in a bid to protect their personal information from hackers.

Most users are content with a simple single-word password they tend to use across all of their online accounts, with the most popular passwords globally being "qwerty" (the top row of letters on the keyboard) and "password".

Cybersecurity expert Grahame Williams claimed passwords were "becoming increasingly insecure" and "easily hacked".

Williams, who serves as the identity and access management director at defence firm Thales, has also called on the industry to drop multi-factor authentication (MFA) which forces users to provide additional information such as fingerprints.

He argued the use of easy-to-guess passwords – including global favourites "qwerty" and "password" – was a key issue in protecting personal data.

"Research has come out in the last few days showing the number of CEOs who are still using '12356' as their password is actually quite comical – the assumption is that we've moved away from that but actually the data really isn't supporting that," he told SkyNews.

Williams explained that widespread working from home had pushed users into "online co9nsumption of everything" and that the threat landscape had worsened as a result.

Most platforms still require a traditional password and experts advise users to mash together three unrelated words in a unique combination no one else would guess. Savvy tech users should also avoid using the same password across multiple accounts.

However Williams argues platforms should provide alternative ways of accessing services such as facial recognition of fingerprints.

He added that such technology should be used "whether consumer or private" to prevent hackers from gaining access to users' "crown jewels."

"Our standpoint on this is there's no reason why you should have to still use passwords and we should all be looking to really push forward," he said.

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