So your password’s “123456”? That’s so 2015!

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The best password is a random combination of letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Image via Flickr/ Wikimedia Commons

You may think you’re being a witty William when you use “password” as your password, but really, you’re just a chump. With “123456”, “password” is the most popular password in the world – for the fifth year in a row.

Both sequences made it to the 2015 list of world’s worst passwords, compiled annually by password management firm SplashData. The company combs through millions of stolen passwords that have been published online and ranks them in order of popularity. Last year’s selection was put together from more than 2 million leaked passwords, with the majority from North America and Western Europe.

Passwords unprotected

So what else do the stolen passwords tell us about ourselves?

People love passwords that are easy to remember – and numerical sequences top the list. Six of the top 10 most common passwords for 2015 are sequences such as “12345”, “12345678” and oh yes, “123456789”. A variation of this shortcut is using a row of keys on the keyboard, such as “qwerty” and “qwertyuiop”. Clever, eh?

Football and baseball are two of the most popular games on the planet, so of course they appear in the list too – at number 7 and number 10.

Our geeky preoccupation with Star Wars shows up at the bottom of the list – “solo” came in at No23, with “starwars” itself at No25. And whether “princess” at No21 refers to Princess Leia or to those ubiquitous Frozen dolls, we can’t quite say – but what’s clear is that they’re all no-brainers. Just like “letmein”!

Other passwords appearing on the 2015 list that did not appear on the 2014 list include “welcome”, “login” and “passw0rd.”

“We have seen an effort by many people to be more secure by adding characters to passwords, but if these longer passwords are based on simple patterns they will put you in just as much risk of having your identity stolen by hackers,” said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData. “As we see on the list, using common sports and pop culture terms is also a bad idea. We hope that with more publicity about how risky it is to use weak passwords, more people will take steps to strengthen their passwords and, most importantly, use different passwords for different websites.”

Time to change your password – whatever it is, and throw in a few punctuation marks!

Here’s what to avoid, a.ka. the chumps’ password list of 2015:

  1. 123456 (Unchanged)
  2. password (Unchanged)
  3. 12345678 (Up 1)
  4. qwerty (Up 1)
  5. 12345 (Down 2)
  6. 123456789 (Unchanged)
  7. football (Up 3)
  8. 1234 (Down 1)
  9. 1234567 (Up 2)
  10. baseball (Down 2)
  11. welcome (New)
  12. 1234567890 (New)
  13. abc123 (Up 1)
  14. 111111 (Up 1)
  15. 1qaz2wsx (New)
  16. dragon (Down 7)
  17. master (Up 2)
  18. monkey (Down 6)
  19. letmein (Down 6)
  20. login (New)
  21. princess (New)
  22. qwertyuiop (New)
  23. solo (New)
  24. passw0rd (New)
  25. starwars (New)