Feeds

Women love chocolate more than password security

Sweet temptation

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Women are four times more likely than men to give out "passwords" in exchange for chocolate bars.

A survey by of 576 office workers in central London found that women are far more likely to give away their computer passwords to total strangers than their male counterparts, with 45 per cent of women versus ten per cent of men prepared to give away their login credentials to strangers masquerading as market researchers.

The survey, conducted outside Liverpool Street Station in the City of London, was actually part of a social engineering exercise to raise awareness about information security in the run-up to next week's Infosec Europe conference.

Infosec has conducted similar surveys every year for at least the last five years involving punters apparently handing over login credentials in exchange for free pens or chocolate rewards.

Little attempt is made to verify the authenticity of the passwords, beyond follow-up questions asking what category it falls under. So we don't know whether women responding to the survey filled in any old rubbish in return for a choccy treat or handed out their real passwords.

This year's survey results were significantly better than previous years. In 2007, 64 per cent of people were prepared to give away their passwords for a chocolate bar, a figure that dropped 21 per cent this time around.

So either people are getting more security-aware or more weight-conscious. And with half the respondents stating that they used the same passwords at home and work, then perhaps the latter is more likely.

Taken in isolation the password findings might suggest the high-profile HMRC data loss debacle had increased awareness about information security. However, continued willingness to hand over personal information that could be useful to ID fraudsters suggests otherwise.

The bogus researchers also asked for workers' names and telephone numbers, ostensibly so they could be entered into a draw to go to Paris. With this incentive 60 per cent of men and 62 per cent of women handed over their contact information. A similar percentage (61 per cent) were happy to hand over their dates of birth. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.