National

Bad password habits can compromise your sensitive data

Agency | January 12, 2017 04:44 PM

New Delhi : If you are still using simple and weak passwords to protect your accounts, be warned that some day all your sensitive information may be leaked.

A research conducted by Russia-based software security company Kaspersky Lab has shown that people across the globe still put their online safety at risk by making bad password decisions and simple password mistakes that may have far-reaching consequences.

"This seems obvious, but many might not realise that they are falling into the trap of making simple password management mistakes. These mistakes, in turn, are effectively like leaving the front door open to emails, bank accounts, personal files and more," said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business, Kaspersky Lab.

The research noted that people use the same password for multiple accounts, meaning that if one password is leaked, several accounts can be hacked.

Only 47 per cent of people use a combination of upper and lowercase letters in their passwords and only 64 per cent use a mixture of letters and numbers.

"People use weak passwords that are easy to crack and they store their passwords insecurely, defeating the point of having passwords at all," the study added.

The study further revealed that almost a third (28 per cent) have shared a password with a close family member, and one-in-ten (11 per cent) have shared a password with friends, making it possible for passwords to be unintentionally leaked.

"Over 22 per cent people also admitted to writing their passwords down in a notepad to help remember them. Even if a password is strong, this leaves the user vulnerable because other people may see and use it," the study added.

Almost one in five persons have faced an account hacking attempt but only a few have effective and cyber-savvy password security in place.

"The best passwords cannot be found in the dictionary. They are long, with upper and lowercase letters, numbers and punctuation marks," said Mochola.

Researchers suggested that using a password management solution can help people remember and generate strong passwords to minimise the risk of account hacking online.

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