Feeds

Aussies’ password habits still slack, says study

Defibrillate me now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

“Through 20 years of effort, we’ve successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess,” is how xkcd puts it*.

That’s probably why people don’t change their passwords unless someone forces them to, which is the unsurprising finding emanating from a PayPal-sponsored study by the ANU-hosted Centre for Internet Safety.

The study also finds the widespread probably-delusional belief that “my password is hard to guess”, with 90 percent of the study’s 1,000 respondents comfortable that their variation on pet’s name and child’s birthday is safe.

Perhaps surprisingly, most users reported that they don’t put any personally identifying information in their passwords; but since they believe their password is safe, they then use the same password across multiple sites (63 percent of respondents, and 77 percent between the ages of 18 to 24 years old).

Mirroring behaviours overseas, we’re also slack about protecting the password, with the survey finding that 41 percent of respondents has shared their password with a friend, family member or colleague without changing the password afterwards.

The “xkcd effect” is present in our password behaviours: hard-to-remember passwords are written down by 46 percent of respondents, while younger users prefer to store their passwords on mobile phones.

In more reassuring news, the study found that most users – more than 95 percent – don’t want Websites to remember their passwords. Well, it would be reassuring, except that more than a third of users get around the forgotten password by leaving their computers logged into online sites, rising to 76 percent among the youngsters.

The paper is published by PayPal, here.

*The comic in question is here. I can’t vouch for 'Randall’s' math, but it would be a life-changing experience for most of us if he's right.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw
Energy summit bods warned of free energy bonanza
DRUPAL-OPCALYPSE! Devs say best assume your CMS is owned
SQLi hole was hit hard, fast, and before most admins knew it needed patching
Knock Knock tool makes a joke of Mac AV
Yes, we know Macs 'don't get viruses', but when they do this code'll spot 'em
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Mozilla releases geolocating WiFi sniffer for Android
As if the civilians who never change access point passwords will ever opt out of this one
Why weasel words might not work for Whisper
CEO suspends editor but privacy questions remain
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.