Most common passwords of 2015 revealed: Here's why hackers love their game

Whether it's about unlocking your phone, logging in to e-mail or social networking accounts or even making a payment online, you'll always need passwords so that somebody else can't access them the way you can. But if you're keeping it simple and putting in "123456" everywhere, you're basically inviting them to.

As it turns out, the most commonly used passwords of 2015 are ironically the easiest ones to guess, so says security firm SplashData who collected millions of passwords as samples from data breaches in the United States and Europe.

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Among the top five most commonly used passwords, the firm identified '12345', '123456' and '12345678' which are basically sequences that anyone won't forget but hackers won't forget either. The firm also found popular and common terms like 'football', 'monkey' and 'starwars' in the list, despite the fact that websites and apps always recommend users to keep long, alphanumeric or hard to guess passwords and even rate them as per their complexities.

Funnily, the much publicized hack of Ashley Madison, which at that time had 38 million users, also revealed that a majority of passwords were either 'password', '12345' or '123456'. It's strange that people would opt for such passwords given the nature of the website.

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"Passwords based on simple patterns on your keyboard remain popular despite how weak they are. Any password using numbers alone should be avoided, especially sequences. As more websites require stronger passwords or combinations of letters and numbers, longer keyboard patterns are becoming common passwords, and they are still not secure," said Morgan Slain, CEO of SplashData.

Based on their findings, SplashData came up with a few tips for you to ensure that your passwords are never hacked or second-guessed by someone else:

Don't use a favourite sport as your password
Don't use your birthday or birth year as your password
Don't use names like michael, thomas, jennifer or michelle as your password
Don't use swear words and phrases, hobbies, famous athletes, car brands, and film names as your password.

Here's a list of the 25 most common passwords that were hacked in 2015:

Rank Password
1. 123456
2. password
3. 12345
4. 12345678
5. qwerty
6. 123456789
7. 1234
8. baseball
9. dragon
10. football
12. monkey
13. letmein
14. abc123
15. 111111
16. mustang
17. access
18. shadow
19. master
20. michael
21. superman
22. 696969
23. 123123
24. batman
25. trustno1

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