If your password is “123456”, “qwerty” or even “password”, it would be a good idea to change it right now.
The three terms are among the most commonly-used passwords of 2015, according to an annual ranking from a security group.
SplashData, which collates passwords from data breaches in America and Western Europe to build samples, said “123456” was, for the fifth year running, the most common password.
Predictably, the most popular passwords are by definition terrible – sequential lines of numbers, “master” and so on. “123456”, “12345678” and “12345” were all in the top five.
But “football”, “monkey” and “starwars” also made the list. Strangely, “football” gained three places last year, at the expense of “baseball”.
Needless to say, if any of the passwords on this list are yours, you should change them. The data shows that at least some people are still failing to heed even the most basic security principles about secure codes.
Last year’s hack of dating website Ashley Madison, in which millions of passwords were revealed, showed a similar trend. “123456”, “12345” and “password” were among the most popular, although some were at the bluer end of the spectrum.
One of the simplest ways to access someone’s online account is to guess a password, and hacking software tends to try the most common codes first. When a code is guessed, hackers also tend to try other online services the victim may use, such as banking, in an attempt to access other details.
The 25 most common passwords