Despite years of being told we should have strong and unique passwords, people are still using predictable patterns to secure access to their online lives.
The most common passwords of 2016 include "123456", "qwerty" and "111111", according to a recently released compilation. Anyone using one of these guessable strings of letters and numbers would be wise to change them immediately if they want to keep their information safe.
More than 50pc of people use the top 25 most common passwords, according to password manager Keeper, with a significant 17pc - almost one in five - of all users having "123456" as their protective code.
Keeper compiled the list by scouring 10 million passwords leaked in data breaches. Predictably, the most popular passwords include variations of "123456" and "qwerty", as well as "password" and "google".
The list is more worrying than a similar released last year that showed the most common passwords of 2015 included "starwars", "monkey" and "football".
Given the number of people still using common passwords despite dozens of high profile data breaches, Keeper said websites should be responsible for cracking down on easy-to-guess strings of letters and numbers.
"While it's important for users to be aware of the risks, a sizeable minority are never going to take the time or effort to protect themselves," said Keeper. "The bigger responsibility lies with website owners who fail to enforce the most basic password complexity policies."
They warned that password cracking software can guess codes that are six characters long in seconds, especially if they use sequential keys.
A few random strings of characters made it onto the list, including "18atcskd2w" and "3rjs1la7qe". These could be commonly used by bots, which are often automated and used to post spam and conduct phishing attacks.
"Email providers could do everyone a favor by flagging this kind of repetition and reporting the guilty parties," said Keeper.
With billions of people's contact details leaked last year, fraudsters need only guess passwords in order to access a wealth of personal and financial information. The best protection from such hacks is to use a variety of numbers, letters, symbols and different cases in passwords.
Top 25 most common passwords
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