These are last year's 25 most common passwords

Emma Haslett
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Is your computer secure? (Source: Getty)

Despite the cyber security industry's best efforts, it seems people are bent on continuing to use the same, easy-to-remember passwords.

Yep, a new study by password security firm Keeper has found a staggering 17 per cent of people use the password "123456" - exactly the same as 2015's top password.

Having scoured 10m passwords, the company found "123456789" was the second-most popular, while "qwerty" came third.

In fact, four of the top 10 most commonly-used passwords and seven of the top 15 were six characters or shorter - which Keeper said can be unscrambled "in seconds".

1. 123456
2. 123456789
3. qwerty
4. 12345678
5. 111111
6. 1234567890
7. 1234567
8. password
9. 123123
10. 987654321
11. qwertyuiop
12. mynoob
13. 123321
14. 666666
15. 18atcskd2w
16. 7777777
17. 1q222w3e4r
18. 654321
19. 555555
20. 3rjs1la7qe
21. google
22. 1q2w3e4r5t
23. 123qwe
24. zxcvbnm
25. 1q2w3e

There were a couple of seemingly pretty secure passwords, such as "18atcskd2w", on the list - but Keeper suggested that was due to bots using the same passwords over and over when they were setting up dummy accounts on public email services from which to launch spam and phishing attacks.

A study published in November by Lancaster University which analysed a massive breach of Yahoo data had similar findings, with "123456", "password" and "welcome" all coming near the top of the list - although the word "ninja" was also up there, which perhaps says more about Yahoo users' perceptions of themselves than it does about commonly-used passwords.

Keeper said it was down to website owners to make sure people are using secure passwords.

"The list of most-frequently used passwords has changed little over the past few years. That means that user education has limits.

"While it’s important for users to be aware of risks, a sizable minority are never going to take the time or effort to protect themselves. IT administrators and website operators must do the job for them."

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