Passwords are used to protect access to private information on iPhones and other devices. Given the sensitive data on phones, like financial information and personal photos, it’s important that iPhone users choose strong passwords that can’t be easily guessed.
Research shows common passwords on iPhones include simple number combinations like “123456” and “111111”, as well as repeated digits and significant dates like birthdays. Weak passwords leave devices vulnerable to hacking and unauthorized access.
This article will explore the most commonly used six-digit iPhone passwords, analyze why weak passwords persist, and provide tips on choosing better passcodes to secure your device.
Most Common iPhone Passwords
According to studies of data breaches, the most commonly used 6-digit iPhone passwords are quite predictable. The top passwords found in data dumps include:
123456 – This simple ascending pattern is the most commonly used password overall, across all platforms. It likely ranks high for iPhones due to the 6-digit limitation. Source
111111 – Repeating digits is another very common approach. Six 1s in a row is both simple to remember and type. Source
000000 – A string of 0s is nearly as popular as 1s for its sheer simplicity. But it’s also very easy for hackers to guess. Source
121212 – Repeating a simple pattern like 12 twice in a row is another method users often default to. Source
According to a recent report, the most commonly used 6-digit iPhone password among Indians in 2023 is ‘123456’ (Source). This extremely weak password can be cracked almost instantly, yet it remains prevalent due to how easy it is to remember. A staggering 4,524,867 instances of ‘123456’ were found in a large database of passwords. Its simplicity and predictability make it the most commonly used 6-digit passcode for iPhones and other devices.
Many users create easy-to-remember but insecure passwords using birthdays. Forming passwords from birth dates, whether one’s own or a family member’s, is quite common. However, this increases vulnerability, as birthdays can often be found through public records or social media profiles. An analysis by SplashData found that “123456” and “password” were the most commonly used passwords, but after those, the next most popular passwords were date-based, including “123456789,” “111111,” and “1234567890” . While birthdays make passwords easy to remember, they also make passwords easy to guess or crack through brute force attacks. Cybercriminals routinely try birthdays when attempting to access accounts fraudulently.
Passwords with repeated digits like 111111, 121212, or 321321 are very common but also very insecure. According to research cited on Stack Exchange, numeric passwords with repeated digits make up around 25% of all possible 4-digit PINs. Similarly, data from Chegg shows that around 30% of 5-character passwords contain repeated digits. The primary reason these types of passwords are so common is simply because they’re easy to remember. However, that also makes them extremely insecure, as they significantly reduce the possible permutations that an attacker would need to try to brute force the password.
Experts universally recommend avoiding using passwords with repeated digits. The ease of remembering them comes at too high a cost for security. Even adding a single different digit to a repeated digit password dramatically strengthens it. For example, 112233 would be vastly more secure than 123123, while not being much harder to remember.
Avoiding Common Passwords
One of the most important ways users can improve their security is by avoiding common passwords like “123456”. According to researchers at NordPass, “123456” and other simple numeric passwords are among the most commonly used passwords on the iPhone and other devices . Using an easily guessable password leaves accounts vulnerable to brute force attacks. Here are some tips for avoiding common passwords:
- Don’t use personal information like birthdays or anniversaries in your password.
- Avoid simple patterns like “123321” or repeated digits like “111111”.
- Never reuse the same password across multiple accounts.
- Consider using a passphrase instead of a typical password. Passphrases based on multiple words are harder to crack.
- Use a password manager to generate and store unique random passwords for each account.
Taking these steps to avoid weak, guessable passwords can greatly improve account security and make it much harder for attackers to compromise your devices or online accounts.
Instead of using common passwords like “123456” or “password”, experts recommend using passphrases instead. A passphrase is a sequence of words that is easy to remember but hard to guess. For example, you could use a phrase like “correct horse battery staple” as your passphrase.
The main advantage of using a passphrase over a typical password is security. Passphrases are harder to crack because they are longer and use an expanded character set with spaces between words. A longer passphrase means an attacker would need a lot more guesses and computing power to successfully crack it. According to this analysis, an 8 character passphrase created from a 768 word dictionary would take about 500 times longer to crack than an 8 character password (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/macwa_ai-gpt-machinelearning-activity-7132819637741748224-m1PC).
Some tips for creating a strong passphrase:
– Use at least 4 random words separated by spaces
– Avoid common phrases from songs or literature
– Mix capitalization, numbers, and symbols
– Make it memorable but don’t use personal info
– Use 12 characters or more for better security
By taking the time to create and remember a unique passphrase, you can greatly strengthen your iPhone’s security against guessing and brute force attacks.
Enabling Two-Factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your iPhone by requiring two forms of authentication when logging in. This prevents unauthorized access even if someone obtains your password.
With 2FA enabled, logging into your iPhone requires something you know (your password) and something you have (such as an authentication code sent to your phone). This makes it much harder for cybercriminals to access your account.
According to Apple, enabling two-factor authentication reduces the likelihood of an unauthorized person accessing your account by over 99%. It’s one of the most effective ways to secure your iPhone and Apple ID.
To set up 2FA on your iPhone, go to Settings > [Your Name] > Password & Security. Tap Turn on Two-Factor Authentication and follow the prompts. You’ll be asked to verify your phone number to receive authentication codes.
Each time you sign in, you’ll need to enter a six-digit verification code sent to your trusted phone number via text message or generated automatically by an authenticator app. This code is only valid for a short time and ensures that even if someone steals your password, they can’t access your account without also having your phone.
According to cybersecurity experts, enabling 2FA is one of the most important steps you can take to safeguard your online accounts, including your iPhone. The minor inconvenience of entering codes is far outweighed by the enhanced security.
Using a Password Manager
A password manager provides many benefits for securely storing and managing passwords. According to Security @ Georgetown University (https://security.georgetown.edu/csam-2020/benefits-of-password-managers/), password managers allow one-click access to stored passwords, encrypt passwords, generate strong passwords, and enable seamless access across devices. Copperband Technologies notes password managers solve weak and reused password problems, suggest strong passwords, and save time wasted on forgotten passwords (https://copperbandtech.com/7-password-manager-benefits/). JumpCloud highlights that password managers provide central storage, multi-tenant capabilities, and improved security through randomized, unique passwords (https://jumpcloud.com/blog/password-management-for-msps). Overall, a password manager securely stores passwords in one encrypted place, generates strong unique passwords, and reduces password reuse risks.
By avoiding common numeric passwords like 123456 and leveraging strong passwords, passphrases, and two-factor authentication, you can help keep your iPhone secure. While many still rely on repeated digits and birthdays, these passwords are too easily guessed. Using a unique passphrase and enabling two-factor adds critical additional layers of security. Password managers also let you use strong unique passwords without having to remember them.
In summary, take steps to move beyond weak passwords on your iPhone. With strong passphrases, two-factor authentication, and a password manager, you can make your iPhone data much more secure.