People urged to forget about passwords to stay safe online

Longer, more complex 'passphrases' are apparently new thing

World Password Day, passwords, online, safety, passphrases, ESET, Ireland, cyber security,

In this file photo illustration, hands type on a computer keyboard in Los Angeles | Image: Damian Dovarganes / AP/Press Association Images

What are five of the most common passwords used today? You'll never guess...

123456. password. 12345678. qwerty. 12345.

So easy to remember, so quick to type - but on this World Password Day, people are being asked to make a little effort to protect themselves.

Security firm ESET says poor practices are rife, and that people need to forget about passwords.

"Simply put, they are easy to crack and not strong enough to offer appropriate security", it says.

It says this is especially true of single word passwords. Something like 'strawberries', for example, is asking for trouble.

Instead, ESET says passphrases - longer, more complex and easy to remember words - will help you be more safe and secure.

It says if a user likes reading, for example, their password could be 'ilovetoread' - which is a good start.

But it says being more specific, and adding some words around it that make sense to you, is better.

'ilovetoreadnewstalkwebsite' is a stronger example.

However, adding capitals makes a passphrase even stronger - e.g. 'ILovetoReadNewstalkWebsite'.

Want to do even more? Add some punctuation for creative flair - 'ILovetoReadNewstalkWebsite!'.

Good luck trying to remember all those old passwords to change them to new ones...