Be honest. Do you use the same password for multiple logins? Social media, emails, online banking? If you answered yes, you’re among the staggering 89 per cent of us that for one reason or another, couldn’t be bothered coming up with more than one or two passwords.
You know you should stop being lazy and get serious about passwords. Here’s some advice from the experts.
ME Bank is responsible for the survey that brought us these stats, and its security expert Samantha MacLeod has a few words of wisdom to impart.
“These stats aren’t surprising given the average person now needs to remember around 19 different passwords for the digital services they use,” said MacLeod.
“Unfortunately, digital users tend to pick easy-to-remember combinations that they repeat across applications on their devices. Or they share passwords to save paying for subscriptions.”
One solution is biometric authentication – 71 per cent of those surveyed said using a fingerprint or iris scanner is easier (you don’t have to remember anything) and 67 per cent said they felt safer using biometrics rather than a traditional password or pin.
McLeod points out, though, that for the foreseeable future we should expect to rely on a combination of techniques. passwords while be around for a while yet, so you still need to get yourself into the habit of just using them properly.
“The easiest way is to use a password generator that will create new passwords for you of varying length and complexity,” McLeod says, “Or you can create strong passwords yourself and store them in a secure online vault.”
Even though it is the easiest solution, only 10 per cent of those surveyed actually use any kind of password manager. And no, keeping a list on a piece of paper doesn’t count – even though it was revealed as the most popular way of storing passwords.
Patterns suck, too – don’t use them.
“Industry research suggests a password pattern can be cracked in five attempts by someone determined to access your data,” advises McLeod.
So there you have it.
Do you use a password manager? use the same password for multiple logis? Are you guilty of keeping all your passwords on the notes app on your phone? Time to level up, people.
ME’s Password Pain Survey was completed by 2,000 mobile and tablet users in September 2017 using an online survey method.