Happy ‘World Password Day’! Worrying stats show how bad our password habits are

Today is "World Password Day" and cyber security experts all across the globe will be tutting their heads at how bad our password habits still are.

Even though there seems to be a devastating hack every other week these days, many of us still don’t put much thought into protecting our online accounts.

Research provided to Mirror Tech from Avast software suggests that almost half of Brits (47%) have either never changed the password to their email account since setting it up, or have only done so when forgetting or in response to a hack.

The software company surveyed 2,002 customers and found that 43% used a mix of symbols, numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters when creating their passwords.

Some experts have even suggested we need to move beyond passwords and look at two-factor authentication. This is where you’re asked to provide an additional code from another source – such as a trusted phone number.

"Over the years we have been training people to create passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess," explained Paul Norris, a senior systems engineer for EMEA at Tripwire .

"Password managers make it easier to create and store complex passwords which a human never has to remember, all the individual needs to remember is the master password that unlocks the password vault – so potentially a single point of failure if this is compromised or you lost or forgotten the password.

"Two-factor authentication adds a layer of security – it introduces the ‘something you have and something you know’.

"For example, you log in with a passphrase and then you generate a one-time code from a secured device such as a smart card, token or an application on your smartphone. Effectively, this brings stronger security as the password is changing at a high rate."

Even if you’re not going to bother with two-factor identification, Avast has provided a handy "check and change" list that may help you stay up to date with your security creds. It is World Password Day, after all.



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