Poor Password Behaviour & Choices Continue to Thwart Security

2 Jul

Be honest… how many passwords do you have? The reality is that most people have one password that they use on every device, as well as for all of their online accounts. This isn’t just a risk for your personal information…it’s also causing a massive headache for IT security professionals.

For years we have heard tech professionals offering password tips, advising on ‘safe and secure’ passwords. “Have a different password for separate accounts”, “change your password regularly”, “don’t use personal information in a password that someone could guess” – these are some of the things that have been said time and again. Yet it seems people just don’t listen, as data breaches and theft, due to poor passwords, is at an all-time high.

What’s the Real Problem Behind Poor Passwords?

Simply put, people are bad and lazy when it comes to setting passwords. We choose the quickest and ‘easiest’ way out when asked to create a password. Instead of choosing something secure, we choose something that we can remember. And in most instances that’s a birthday, pets name, maiden surname – you know how it goes.

As technology became a bit smarter and began to prompt us to use passwords that are more challenging to guess by combining capital letters, numbers and personal characters, many of us still opted for the easiest route. This is why you see passwords cropping up, such as “p@ssw0rD” – which essentially, isn’t very secure at all.

The path of least resistance

It would also seem that many of us have become blasé about password security. When told that our accounts have been hacked and that the data has been breached, the accepted and recommended solution is to change our passwords. Some do this, a large portion of us don’t. And even those that do change their passwords, only attend to the particular account that has been hacked, overlooking the fact that the same password has been used across multiple devices for multiple accounts.

Another problem area for bad passwords is routers. Most routers come with a pre-loaded default password attached for easy setup and installation. As a gateway to the internet, a router needs to be secure, yet the default passwords are often easy to guess and need to be changed. So many people never change the default password leaving themselves open to being locked out by hackers – similar to a lock on your house. If you sell your home and the new owners don’t change the locks – your keys will always have access, which means you could lock the new owners out!

Go Ahead – Change Your Password!

Are you a poor password offender putting your data and personal information at risk?  Security experts suggest planning a schedule for password changes, making it a routine for the long term that includes a new password for your router and ALL of your accounts.

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