Do you use a different password for each and every login? If the answer was ‘no’ then you’re certainly not alone.
According to new research by Keeper Security, nearly two thirds of web users reported knowingly using weak passwords or re-using old ones across multiple sites. What’s more, 75% of respondents said they were fully aware that they were not adhering to password best practices.
This suggests that users understand what they should – and indeed shouldn’t – be doing when it comes to password security, but aren’t using this knowledge in practice, something one analyst puts down to ‘password overload’.
James E. Lee, chief operating officer of America’s Identity Theft Resource Center, said that today’s digital landscape means that a typical user may have logins for over 100 different websites, programs or portals. It’s unrealistic for them to have different passwords for each and remember every single one.
Of course, re-using passwords puts a user at unnecessary risk, as it means that any hacker who gains access to one account will be able to use the same credentials to get into countless others.
The Keeper Security survey also found that 35% of people feel anxious or overwhelmed when it comes to improving their cybersecurity.
This came as no surprise to Marcus Scharra, co-founder of Brazil’s Senhasegura, who told Tech News World: “There is a lack of cybersecurity awareness, with many individuals unaware of the importance of strong passwords and the risks of weak ones.”
Thankfully there’s a solution to these issues – a simple password manager. These tools, which are often free for general users and come bundled in with many web browsers, can store (and often generate) different passwords for each account. Whilst this doesn’t resolve the inherent weaknesses of alphanumeric passwords, it can make them more difficult to crack – and ensure hackers who manage to get one aren’t therefore gifted a ‘master key’ to all the others.