Britons Embrace Ease of Use over Online Security, Study Shows

Almost 75% of Britons are securing their online information with easy-to-guess passwords, exposing their information to the risk of theft by hackers, according to a government survey.

Britons often use passwords such as a pet’s name, their place of birth or something related to a favorite sports team.

Image source: Deviantart

According to The Independent, this security flaw echoes a survey of millions of pieces of stolen login data logged throughout 2014, which found the most common passwords to be “123456” and “password.”

The 10 most-used passwords worldwide in 2014 are easily guessable: 1. 123456; 2. Password; 3. 12345; 4. 12345678; 5. Qwerty; 6. 123456789; 7. 1234; 8. Baseball; 9. Dragon; 10. Football. In 2014, the top 10 passwords represented about 1% of passwords exposed, according to Splash Data. Passwords comprised of numbers alone, especially sequences, should be avoided.

Consumers are reluctant to protect their accounts with multiple strong passwords, yet they worry weak ones will leave them vulnerable to hackers, multiple studies show. Out of a lack of awareness, users are not taking the steps needed to decrease online risks, as HOTforSecurity has previously reported.

According to Microsoft a strong password:

  • is at least eight characters long.
  • does not contain your user name, real name or company name.
  • does not contain a complete word.
  • is significantly different from previous passwords.
  • contains uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols found on the keyboard.

Remember your strong password by following these tips:

  • Create an acronym from an easy-to-remember piece of information. For example, pick a phrase that is meaningful to you, such as My son’s birthday is 12 December, 2004. Using that phrase as your guide, you might use Msbi12/Dec,4 for your password.
  • Substitute numbers, symbols, and misspellings for letters or words in an easy-to-remember phrase. For example, My son’s birthday is 12 December, 2004 could become Mi$un’s Brthd8iz 12124(it’s OK to use spaces in your password).
  • Relate your password to a favorite hobby or sport. For example, I love to play badminton could become [email protected]()n.

61% of consumers have not enabled two-factor authentication for any online accountsHere is a simple guide that helps you enable this feature.

 

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