Why searching for Euro 2012 and Whitney Houston could spell trouble

Last updated: 23 December 2015

If you work in an office or have gathered information for a project, then you’ll have used Google at some point in your life. This also means that you might be partly responsible for the most searched-for topics and keywords in Google’s search engine over the last year.

Google has brought out the list of these top words as searched for by Brits, and there are some interesting ones too!

Without delving too much into the details and reasons for these searches (although the London 2012 Olympics and the Brits’ obsession with celebrities and X-Factor might have something to do with the results), these searches are interesting from a security perspective too.

Anything that proves popular almost automatically becomes a target of hackers and spammers. If you consider how popular soccer is globally, it’s hardly surprising that ‘football’ ranks among the worst passwords of 2012. And by worst, we mean most easily hacked. The same goes for celebrities, as McAfee pointed out with its list of ‘most dangerous celebrities in 2012’ earlier this year. It seems that Emma Watson, Jessica Biel and Eva Mendes take the top three positions globally, whereas the late Whitney Houston, Kate Middleton and Gary Barlow are no doubt high on hackers’ agendas for the UK market.

It’s always interesting to tap into the zeitgeist of a country and our digital lifestyle allows us to do just that nowadays. Instead of treating this purely as entertainment, however, it should also inform both consumers and business security policies to ensure secure authentication is in place to avoid a hack or security breach.

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