A study by inTechnology.com confirms that people won’t willingly choose secure passwords. The main reason is memory – secure passwords are hard to remember. Often a “secure” password is written down so it can be referenced when needed – which poses another security issue.
The 10 most common passwords are:
- (your first name)
Password security is important when it comes to laptop security. If a laptop is lost or stolen, and passwords are not secure, people may too easily be able to access confidential data. The same goes for web-based passwords, which can be a source of security problems if passwords are not secure.
When it comes to passwords and security, it all boils down to training. Employees must be made aware of the importance of using more secure passwords and of logging out of systems/programs when not in use. Ideally, examples would be given to help employees choose secure passwords. Additionally, it should be stressed that passwords should be changed on a regular basis.
How to create a secure password:
- Make it at least 8 characters long (>14 is ideal)
- Combine letters, numbers, symbols, capitol letters and spaces (when allowed)
- Create a phrase easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess, and convert it as above
- For example - “My horse has three legs and lives with pigs and chickens” could become “mhhtlalwpac”, taking the first letter of each word. It could then mix in numbers, symbols and capitalization to become “mHh3l&LwP@C” – still possible to remember, but hard to decipher
As an alternative to password-based security, biometrics can be used as an authentication method. It does not require people to remember or change passwords, and does not run the risk of being “found” like a password.
Via Michael Overly, CSO Online; Microsoft