The most common passwords of 2015 were worryingly simple

By Sean Robinson and PA Pictures @SeanRobinsonUU

The weirder we can make our online passwords the safer we’ll be in cyber-world. That’s the message from security experts this week in a new report that highlights most popular passwords of 2015 have been labelled "dangerous" because of their simplicity.

The list of logins, put together by password management firm SplashData from lists of stolen passwords that appeared online, showed that the combination "123456" remains the most popular password among web users, followed by "password".

 Picture of a computer and a login page

Passwords "12345678" and "qwerty" - after the common keyboard layout - both rose into the top five, which was completed by the combination "12345".

It’s the popularity of such passwords with our own laziness security experts have been quick to warn us that make cyber-attacks common.

For many of us opening an Online Banking App on our IPhone or logging intoMyAccount to pay your water bill, is as much a daily routine nowadays as watching EastEnders to making a cuppa.

Experts now say, the stranger your passwords can be, the more secure your accounts.

Brian Spector, from digital security firm Miracl speaking to the Press Association says: "These are surely some of the easiest passwords to crack, even for the ordinary kid trying to get into their sibling's Facebook account. A professional cyber-criminal would simply laugh at them."

There were also renewed calls for users not to use the same password across multiple accounts, adding that cyber criminals had access to just as much information as the experts.

Mark James, security expert at cyber firm ESET, adds in the article: "The bad guys have access to the same lists we do. When passwords appear in these lists they will be in the top most data used for brute force matching.

"Time is important when you're trying to guess someone's password, so hackers want to get it done and move on to the next one as quickly as possible.

"Bear in mind if you are using any of these passwords it won't take a hacker minutes to guess your password, not even seconds, it will take them less time to find your password than it did for you to enter it."

The latest report highlights phrases like "football", "letmein" and "login" featuring in the top 20 most common.

One of the most famous attacks last year actress Jennifer Lawrence saw images from her iCloud account posted online after a password attack - where hackers use automated programs of the most common passwords on her account.

So, if you’ve got any of these top 10 most recognised passwords, my advice - change them today:

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)