These are officially the worst passwords of 2015

While it is easy to put someone down for engaging in poor security practices, remember - not everyone grew up with computers.

In other words, for some people, modern technology and security are foreign concepts. With that said, people of all ages - old, young, and in-between - are guilty of doing stupid things, such as using poor passwords.

Speaking of passwords, many sites mandate specific requirements, such as using a mix of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters, arguably minimising the possibility of very weak passwords, such as "password". Sadly, people are still using poor passwords, and today, SplashData shares its list of the worst passwords of 2015. If any of your passwords are on the list, you should change it immediately, and probably go to bed without supper - shamed on you!

"In SplashData's fifth annual report, compiled from more than 2 million leaked passwords during the year, some new and longer passwords made their debut - perhaps showing an effort by both websites and web users to be more secure. However, the longer passwords are so simple as to make their extra length virtually worthless as a security measure", says SplashData.

The company further explains, "for example, '1234567890', '1qaz2wsx' (first two columns of main keys on a standard keyboard), and 'qwertyuiop' (top row of keys on a standard keyboard) all appear in the top 25 list for the first time, but they are each based on simple patterns that would be easily guessable by hackers. As in past years' lists, simple numerical passwords remain common, with six of the top 10 passwords on the 2015 list comprised of numbers only".

As much as I want to scold these lax Internet users, I am more angry at the websites. After all, they should not be permitting passwords that are, for example, all numbers or all letters. While users should ultimately be responsible for their password strength, there is nothing wrong with recognizing a weakness and helping them along. With that said, forcing a change of existing passwords - these could be in use for many years - might be a stressful burden for some.

Below is the list of the 25 worst passwords of 2015. Are any of yours on the list? If so, as previously stated, please change them as soon as possible.

Rank Password Change from 2014
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

Image source: Shutterstock/shutteratakan