Research Shows Americans Still Don’t Practice Good Password Use

Posted on October 6, 2017 by Admin

A recent survey by Wakefield Research provides an eye-popping glimpse into how Americans have gotten sluggish with their passwords. An unsettling 81% agree they use the same passwords for  more than one account. However, those surveyed are savvy users who know the dangers of reusing passwords; yet they still do it. And for millennials the news is worse. An incredible 92% admit they use the same password for many accounts over many sites. This disturbing trend isn’t unique to Americans and likely applies to a great many cyber savvy users worldwide.

The US Computer Ready Emergency Team (US-CERT) offers a reminder into the harsh reality of password hacking. According to its website, “Often, an attack is not specifically about your account but about using the access to your information to launch a larger attack. And while having someone gain access to your personal email might not seem like more than an inconvenience or embarrassment, think of the implications of an attacker gaining access to your Social Security number or your medical records.” It’s great food for thought.

US-CERT posts these password safety guidelines on its site:

  • Use unique passwords on different systems and accounts.
  • Don't use easily guessed passwords that are based on personal information.
  • Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Don't use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language.
  • Try to develop mnemonics such as passphrases and acronyms for remembering complex passwords.

The Wakefield Research survey also finds 69% of Americans are concerned with online info theft. That’s more than twice the worry, 31%, of their wallet being stolen. Either way it’s gained, stolen information presents an enormous epidemic worldwide. Hackers and old-school thieves know its value and without hesitation use it for personal gain or sell it to the highest bidder. Cyber savvy user or not, smart passwords guard the front gate of safer cyber security.

Posted in Cybersecurity, Social Engineering